Whenever you are wondering whether you should continue to run an advertisement or whether your last mailer was worth the cost, you need to consider customer acquisition costs. Customer acquisition cost is not hard to understand, but few businesses do the math required to evaluate their advertising efforts. I first learned about calculating customer acquisition … Read moreIs Your Advertising Working? Calculating Customer Acquisition Cost
We never stop learning. I am proud to say that since I wrote my first book, How To Salvage Millions from Your Small Business, in 2001, I’ve learned so much more about business. Of course, I sold my auto salvage operations to Ford Motor Co. almost a decade ago (can you believe it?), went on … Read moreHow To Salvage More Millions From Your Small Business
Recyclers have been talking about Cash for Clunkers, and whether it was good or bad for our industry. I won’t opine much, other than to say the answer probably depends upon how prepared you were to take advantage of the opportunities the initiative presented. Ever noticed that some folks seem to do well no matter … Read moreCash for Clunkers: Good or Bad for You?
Reid Hoffman, CEO of Linkedin, asked an interesting question of participants in the business networking site. He asked a question about the best ways small business people could stimulate the economy on a grassroots level. I believe he is asking the right question. I firmly believe that the recovery, when it comes, will be led … Read moreSit Out the Recession by Joining an Upcoming Peer Benchmarking Review Group for Your Industry
Imagine receiving a visit from a local sheriff with a handful of your mail that he retrieved from a ditch. Consider how it would feel to get a welcome call from an account representative at a store in a city 1,000 miles away verifying that you have opened a charge account. The Federal Trade Commission … Read moreManagement Article – Diary of an Identity Theft Victim Two Tools to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft
In 1993, a good friend of mine and fellow auto salvage business owner DL Fitz opened a new location about 60 miles south of his family’s existing locations, near Tacoma, WA. Traffic in the Tacoma area made delivering parts on time very difficult. In response, a new facility at Graham was added to speed deliveries. … Read morePower Marketing: Choosing Your Customers – Part 4 of 5
Last month we talked about marketing vs. advertising. This month, I would like to share a personal example. Here is how my marketing team applied the principles we have been discussing to help make my first book for entrepreneurs a success. We applied the same basic principles of marketing that can work in your business … Read moreA Case Study in Real World Marketing – Part 2 of 5
How do you promote your company? There is so much noise out there in the form of advertising that you must have a good answer to this question, or you won’t climb above your competitors. If people don’t know about you and your business, you won’t be in a position to be considered when they … Read moreClimbing Above The Competition: Marketing Versus Advertising (Part 1 of 5)
Branding serves to influence a customer’s perception. Doesn’t Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup just taste buttery and gooood? If you bought a Betty Crocker cake mix, wouldn’t you expect it to be moist and pleasing to the palate? That’s branding. Your company name is your brand. It is also your intellectual property. It’s good to understand the … Read moreManagement Article – Who Owns Your Company Name? Part 2 of 2
How you present your image is important to the subliminal imprint on your customers’ memories. Have you got a logo for your firm? How about a standard color theme? If not, it’s time to think about your business image and its overall symbol in the public mind. Say you have a floral shop. Over time, … Read moreManagement Article – How Do Your Customers See You? Part 1 of 2
In a prior month, we talked about delegation. My friend DL, and co author of Salvaging Millions, shared a story with me about how his father delegated a task to DL early in his career. When DL first came into management, he was responsible for putting the numbers together for end-of-year projections. His father sent … Read moreBuilding A Team of Top Performers
You’re only one person, and you are going to need more folks pulling on the oars. Delegate. As owners, we tend to be possessive of our idea. After all, it was our brainchild, right? The problem is that many owners make the mistake of trying to do everything themselves. If you are going to move … Read moreA Key to Great Achievement: Effective Delegation
You’ve got to be collaborative, and surround yourself with people that are smarter than you, or can or will do what you cant or wont. What will you do, or what do you do when your employees, some of whom may be highly qualified, stand up and say something is not going to work? Imagine … Read moreThe Key Question When Employees Don’t Have the Faith to Follow
Are you willing to take risks to grow your business? If you want to leverage yourself in order to reach a higher income or grow your business, you’ll have to take risks. If you don’t want mediocrity, you are going to face risk every step of the way. You are responsible for everything that happens … Read moreBill and Joe: Two View of Risk Taking For Growth
Over the last few installments of this series, we have considered some of the ingredients necessary for business success. As I travel to speak and consult, I run into businesspeople of every description, but I also run in to people who believe that business success requires a certain leadership style, background and set of skills. … Read moreA Tale of Two Management Styles
How many times do we see business owners looking out the window or at their watch while impatiently waiting for the time to justify their exit? Why come in late or leave early if your ambition is to excel? Those who are always looking for excuses not to work are never going to enjoy the … Read moreThe Success Habit
I use even the smallest bits of time. I’m such a fanatic about it that I have been known to talk on my cell phone while using the men’s room. Though that may seem funny, I do it because I feel compelled to use every minute wisely. Another way that I maximize every minute is … Read moreTime: Every Business Person’s Most Precious Resource
We’ve been discussing passion as it relates to success in business in the last few months. How would you define passion and how does passion relate to the persevering attitude necessary for lasting success? The key question: What motivates us as businesspeople? If we are working only for money, we are working for the wrong … Read morePassion, Perseverance, and a Limitless Future
Last month we talked about passion, and how being passionate can make being in business more rewarding than any job ever could be! An enduring passion for the work on the part of the owners, managers, and employees makes a huge difference in the level of success of any business. When business is good, being … Read moreLight Bulbs, Your Check Engine Light, and A Brighter Future
Today’s sacrifice is tomorrow’s gain. We’ve all heard that a hundred times. It’s a cliché. You have to sacrifice today for a bigger tomorrow. How does it apply to your current situation? Do you really want to do what you’re doing? Do you REALLY want to do it? If you just want a job, go … Read moreLove What You Do –Then You Don’t Have a Job
I understand the implications of environmental issues, but it sounds like some recyclers believe that their business is suffering as a result. Their position is that because government officials enforce environmental laws in a lax way many yards choose to operate illegally. These illegal operators have lower costs because they do not have the added … Read moreIt’s Just Not Fair, Ron!
This is the second part of a two part article written by AutoSalvage.com Consultant Tammy Sturgeon. In the first part, Tammy described the sudden passing of her mother and shared some thoughts on how to cope with losing someone vital in business or someone who is a vital part of your family. If you missed … Read moreHow prepared are you? – Part 2 of 2
This thoughtful, two-part article was written by Tammy Sturgeon. Recently I lost my mother to a lung disease that we had never heard of. She passed 2 ½ weeks after her diagnosis. Before her diagnosis, she was a vibrant, healthy 68 year-old woman. As most of you know, I grew up in this business–my father … Read moreHow prepared are you? (Part 1 of 2)
You want positive sales signs or signals in your customer area. You want the customer to feel he’s going to get fair treatment every time he comes in. As a manager, you should be asking yourself how to serve your customer better the next time he stops. That’s giving him recognition. You are giving your … Read moreInvolve Your Customers
You should know by now whether the achievement of significant success is a true desire in your heart. Do you want it badly enough to make the necessary sacrifices? I’ve shown you some of what it takes. I’ve shown you what I think has made the difference for me. My next question requires a personal … Read moreEmbrace the Passion
Do your customers really care whether or not your operation is efficient? Maybe they do; maybe they don’t. They really care more about the product they’ve bought from you, whether it’s a good product or not, or perhaps its price. They also care a great deal about how they were serviced. Whether your customer walks … Read moreEmpower Your People
My comments here are very philosophical general in nature, but because I get so many inquiries on this topic, I thought it might be good to discuss it. I have been hired many times to help determine the value of a yard (not including real estate), in cases ranging from contract disputes, tax cases, condemnations, … Read moreWhat is my Recycling Yard Worth, Ron?
This is a three-part article. Check the last two-month’s issues for parts one and two, or visit our web site. Last month we talked about Purchasing and Performance Pay. This month we will talk about Employees and Financial Metrics. Employees – Average your last three months net sales and divide that amount by $20,000. This … Read moreTools You Must Consider to Control Profits in 2006 – And Beyond (Part 3 of 3)
This is a three part article, check last month’s issue for part one. Last month we talked about systems. This month we will discuss Purchasing and Performance Pay. Purchasing – You need a yard management system with a bid pad or you need a yard management system and a stand-alone bid pad to purchase by … Read moreTools You Must Consider to Control Profits in 2006 – And Beyond (Part 2 of 3)
Since this is a three part article, please watch for the remaining portions over the next two months. As I travel internationally consulting, I continue to come across the same problems time and time again. The biggest problems I see are (in no particular sequence): 1. A total lack of or very poor systems in … Read moreTools You Must Consider to Control Profits in 2006 – And Beyond (Part one of three)
Did you know you can use Google, to watch for articles of interest, using keywords in most media, including newspapers, magazines and of course the web? Google will search for your key words and email you the results daily. Try using your name, or LKQ, or auto recycling. There is information every day! As you … Read moreUsing Your Computer to Make You More Effective
Last month, I discussed the components of an effective campaign, this month I will give you tips on how to differentiate yourself from your competition. Charles Tandy (of Tandy Corp fame) once said, “The most likely person to buy something from you is the person that just bought something from you.” We spend an inordinate … Read moreHow to Get More from Your Advertising Dollars – Part 2 of 2
So many folks ask me to help them with marketing and advertising when I do a consulting assignment. Historically, most recyclers don’t spend enough of their revenue on advertising (I recommend at least 1-2%) because they have had bad results and don’t know what to do. I am always amazed when I see sponsorships of … Read moreHow to Get More for Your Advertising Dollars – Part one of two
We have tried to be retail, wholesale, and everything in between. We have tried to handle too many parts on too many types of vehicles. We think that anyone that drives a used car must be our prospect. Although this might have been ok 10 years ago, when we had 25% cost of goods, and … Read moreTime for a Change – Recyclers Have Tried to be Too Much, for Too Long, for Too Many.
Do you look for excuses to work less? Do you ever complain about how much money you’re making? Last month, we talked about two entrepreneurs, and what was different about them and their success. (You can find last month’s article at www.autosalvageconsultant.com, or email me; I will send it to you) Across town, another business … Read moreIt’s All Up to You – (Part two of two)
Do you look for excuses to work less? Do you ever complain about how much money you’re making? Joe is a small business owner. He complains that he has to make more because his checks are not large enough to pay his bills. Yet whenever the mood strikes, he leaves work and goes off to … Read moreIt’s All Up to You – (Part one of two)
Just about everyone in America comes across a little money at some time or another. I always say that such events likely don’t happen more than five or six times in a lifetime. They might win a lottery; they might inherit a sum; they might cash in some old stock that was passed on to … Read moreYou Position Yourself
I get so many calls from folks who insist that their only problem is that they need more money. Read my lips: “If your only problem is that you need more money, then you don’t have any problems.” This is true in almost all the cases I have seen. Trust me: there is PLENTY of … Read moreRon, All I Need Is More Money!
Last month I discussed clearly defined structure. However, it does no good if you never follow up to ensure that those expectations are met. Always be fair. If your employees are going to have bonus plans, give them the bonus plans and clearly inform them how they are going to be measured. Do this as … Read moreEmployee Satisfaction Survey
My company had the reputation of being structured and disciplined. I set guidelines and stood by them. I set goals and strove to reach them. I’ve had employees tell me that they were intimidated at first when they considered coming to work for me because they were unsure about the “rules” thing. Auto dismantlers don’t … Read moreClearly Defined Structure
A Strong Work Ethic How many of you have a competitor who takes off every day? He’s earned the privilege. Right? Maybe. But what does that do for his employee relations? I believe that productive employees expect the owner to have a strong work ethic. Significant success doesn’t come from escape, procrastination or total delegation. … Read morePieces of the Puzzle Required for Success
I’ve just returned from speaking at the Saskatchewan Recycler Conference, where it was cold! It was four below zero. (OK, it was Centigrade!) They were gracious hosts, and most of the Canadian recyclers who attended the conference are doing very well. After my remarks, usually one or more of attendees will come up and want … Read moreManagement Article: The Secret To Beating Your Competitors – The Odds Are in Your Favor!
I am constantly amazed at the skills people exhibit when looking for a job. Now, I understand that it’s not something you do every week and maybe I should be more sympathetic, since I haven’t done it but once in my life when I got a job as a bag boy in high school.. I … Read moreLooking for a Job? Are You Really Serious?