Business Career

Step back and have a neutral look at your business / career
Chapter 10
p.7
I deal with so many customers and products. How do I know which is the best? How can I find out where I can get the best returns?
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that all your products and customers are necessarily profitable and “good business”. From time to time it is essential to step back and have a realistic and neutral look at your business.
The diagram below is an example of a “Kanthal Curve”. See it as a tool that can help you to view your business and career from a distance.
It will enable you to answer questions like:
Are my bigger customers really my better customers?
What will be the effect if I spend the same effort onother customers?
Am I really optimizing my resources?
How does cost and activity compare?
But I don’t know how to draw a curve like that! What do I need and where do I start in order to do this?
Before you can plot a Kanthal Curve for your business, you have to analyze your business and obtain realistic and adequate information.
Just follow the steps on the following page…
STEP 1: Write down all the costs
In the case of a salesperson, costs will include the following:
Your full package translated into an hourly rate.
Costs of all who make a contribution to your sales effort: Sales coordinator, team leader, team, admin, etc.
List infrastructure costs that relate to you which are not included in your
hourly tariff.
Any other costs.
STEP 2: List your Top Ten in terms of sales for each of the following:
Products
Suppliers
Customers
STEP 3: Split all the cost elements per customer, allocating as best you can.
Be as honest as you can, otherwise you’ll simply engineer the results you want! Beware of foregone conclusions.
Total
Customer 1 Customer 2 Customer 3
A
Sales
B
Gross Profit
C
Own time x package
D
Other time x cost
E
Infrastructure cost
F
Other costs
G Total cost
(C+D+E+F)
Nett profit
(B-G)
STEP 4: Repeat for products, services, suppliers, etc.
(Use the same method as above)
STEP 5: Plot the curve, starting with the customer
(or product, service or supplier yielding the most net profit and ending with the least profitable.)
Your Kanthal Curve gives you a clear picture of the business performance of your customers, products, services, suppliers, etc.
Now you can analyze good business/bad business…
Analysis of good business / bad business:
Start with your worst performers.
Why keep them?
What areas of improvement can you identify?
Discuss with your customer if he is part of the solution
(eg. pay for service calls, change buying patterns, etc.)
Develop SMART action plans and implement.
Remember that the answers are never in the obvious.

Step back and have a neutral look at your business / career

Chapter 10 p.7

w&t_question

I Ask

I deal with so many customers and products. How do I know which is the best? How can I find out where I can get the best returns?

w&t_exclamation

I Answer

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that all your products and customers are necessarily profitable and “good business”. From time to time it is essential to step back and have a realistic and neutral look at your business.

The diagram below is an example of a Kanthal Curve. See it as a tool that can help you to view your business and career from a distance.

It will enable you to answer questions like:

  • Are my bigger customers really my better customers?
  • What will be the effect if I spend the same effort on other customers?
  • Am I really optimizing my resources?
  • How does cost and activity compare?

w&t_ch10_j_the_kanthal_curve

w&t_question

I Ask

But I don’t know how to draw a curve like that! What do I need and where do I start in order to do this?

w&t_binoculars

I Explain

Before you can plot a Kanthal Curve for your business, you have to analyze your business and obtain realistic and adequate information.

Just follow these steps:

STEP 1: Write down all the costs

In the case of a salesperson, costs will include the following:

  1. Your full package translated into an hourly rate.
  2. Costs of all who make a contribution to your sales effort: sales coordinator, team leader, team, admin, etc.
  3. List infrastructure costs that relate to you which are not included in your hourly tariff.
  4. Any other costs.

STEP 2: List your Top Ten in terms of sales for each of the following:

  • Products
  • Suppliers
  • Customers

STEP 3: Split all the cost elements per customer, allocating as best you can.

w&t_elephant

I Advise

Be as honest as you can, otherwise you’ll simply engineer the results you want! Beware of foregone conclusions.

Total
Customer 1 Customer 2 Customer 3
A
Sales
B
Gross Profit
C
Own time x package
D
Other time x cost
E
Infrastructure cost
F
Other costs
G Total cost
(C+D+E+F)
Nett profit
(B-G)

STEP 4: Repeat for products, services, suppliers, etc.

Use the same method as above.

STEP 5: Plot the curve, starting with the customer

or product, service or supplier yielding the most net profit and ending with the least profitable.

w&t_binoculars

I Explain

Your Kanthal Curve gives you a clear picture of the business performance of your customers, products, services, suppliers, etc.

Now you can analyze good business/bad business…

Analysis of good business / bad business:

Start with your worst performers.

  1. Why keep them?
  2. What areas of improvement can you identify?
  3. Discuss with your customer if he is part of the solution (eg. pay for service calls, change buying patterns, etc.)
  4. Develop SMART action plans and implement.
w&t_elephant

I Advise

Remember that the answers are never obvious.

Building a career is similar to starting a small business
We have found that being a career builder one face very much the same risks as when starting a small business. Some of the most compelling risks when starting a small business include:
The maturity of the concept used when starting a small business
The strength of the team starting a small business
Supply chain maturity and stability
The network supporting one in starting a small business
Certainty and clarity on the distribution channel
Proven demand from an identified end client
Are emotional hooks on the end client, suppliers and the support channel in place in place?
Does the purposed concept fit with the end clients’ expectations?
We have built many businesses and hope to bring this knowledge to a global audience of career builders. We are currently in the process of packaging this knowledge to fit the needs of a career builder. This knowledge will also be of great value to small business owners. We will keep our visitors up to date via our RSS feed and ezine.
For more on the risks of a business please visit:
The risks of business on Alephsynergy.com
The stages of growth in an entrepreneurial company (W&T guide)
We will keep you updated via our RSS feed.

Building a career is similar to starting a small business

w&t_elephant

I Advise

We have found that being a career builder one face very much the same risks as when starting a small business.

Some of the most compelling risks when starting a small business include:

  • The maturity of the concept used when starting a small business.
  • The strength of the team starting a small business.
  • Supply chain maturity and stability.
  • The network supporting one in starting a small business.
  • Certainty and clarity on the distribution channel.
  • Proven demand from an identified end client.
  • Are emotional hooks on the end client, suppliers and the support channel in place?
  • Does the proposed concept fit with the end clients’ expectations?

We have built many businesses and hope to bring this knowledge to a global audience of career builders. We are currently in the process of packaging this knowledge to fit the needs of a career builder. This knowledge will also be of great value to small business owners.

For more on the risks of a business please visit:

The risks of business on Alephsynergy.com

The stages of growth in an entrepreneurial company

Find a career coach in your environment
Find a career coach with the right relationships to develop your career and expand your career choices. Career Builder identified the essential career builder skills; use them to turn any career challenge into a career growth opportunity.
When experiencing frustration or fear in your career use these emotions as opportunities to fast track your career growth; use them to pro-actively grow your career!
Find a career coach ». Career Builder assisted and is still assisting thousands of people in their career growth. We worked with more than thirty entrepreneurs and coached them through the process of building successful running companies. We are still working with this group of entrepreneurs and their companies as well as a new group of young entrepreneurs. Any successful business takes seven years to build. Career Builder coaching processes are forged in the fire of building these successful businesses and the development of the people running them; these processes are being used in many other companies as well.
We have found a few cornerstone skills to be essential in building a thriving career or business. Career Builder shares these with you before going onto our Find a Career Coach process. We discuss these skills in the form of coaching sessions on the Career Builder Coaching page and in more detail on the Actionable Career Skills page, these skills include:
Delegation
Create your own compelling events
Fear of the unknown
Pathologies
Frustration is just a trigger
Click here for the complete list…
Successful people and companies have a natural way of handling challenging situations. Career Builder observed, applied and understands this natural process.
Career Builder’s Walk and Talk method of career coaching was developed working with the best. Studying at Harvard Business School (Owner/President Management program) we came to understand the application of these processes in companies even better. Some of the Harvard Business School case studies included companies like Hewlett Packard, Volvo, Taco Bell, PepsiCo and many others. In the early seventies we were exposed to and learned from Hewlett Packard’s company processes; later this knowledge were implemented in our own companies.
We developed career coaching contracts and learned which processes worked and which did not. All these experiences with career coaching led us to the current simple set of skills we base our career coaching processes on. You can own and direct these processes to build your career. Work in a group when implementing these processes or take part in the Career Builder community forums; it always works best to implement a process with a group. The group can be directly or indirectly involved; or contact a Career Builder coach.
Where would you like to go?
Find a career coach
The difference between coaching, mentoring and councelling
Learn more about mentorship
Learn more about career councelling
At Career Builder we identified a few simple cornerstone skills we base our career coaching on. Click here for a complete list of these Career builder skills. We share these with you before going onto the Find a Career Coach process:
1. Delegate and grow
What is delegation?
Delegation is when one is able to give the work you do not enjoy doing to another who does enjoy doing that work, but you stay responsible for getting the job done on time. Successful delegation is when another person excels in their careers because they enjoy doing the work you do not enjoy doing or do not have time for. Read more on delegation…
A coaching session on delegation.
An article on delegation written by a Career Builder coach.
Read a case study on delegation:
Barry du Plessis
Leigh Harrison
2. Create your own compelling events / deadlines
Three tips to fast-track your career you can use right now:
Get a career coach by becoming a “sort of” expert in their interests and talk to them about these interests.
Find someone that loves the work you hate, delegate to them while staying responsible for this work.
When frustrated, ask yourself what is causing the frustration? Address this challenge before it explodes.
Successful company builders know that people can and should be stretched. Unre Visagie built many successful companies. He stretches the people that work with him in building these companies; people discover depths within them they never knew they had. The knowledge successful company builders have is to know when to stop expecting more from an individual and allow that specific growth curve to play itself out. The trick is that anyone wanting to grow their careers can apply this same “pressure” to themselves in building their own successful careers. Have a career builder attitude!
Read more on creating your own compelling events and learn from a coaching session on deadlines and compelling events….
3. Fear of the unknown
Making career choices based on what is unknown is always a source of uncertainty for most. We fear that which we do not know. Imagine looking down a very dark tunnel running straight down into the earth. You are expected to jump into this hole, you expect this of yourself or others expect this of you. To you this hole looks like it just goes down forever, a never ending drop into a very deep abyss…
Actually the hole is only two meters deep, but you don’t know that because you only see the black opening! We are too afraid to jump into this hole simply because we know nothing of it.
Read more on Fear of the unknown, you will also find a coaching session others learned from…
3. Find a career coach
Finding a career coach with the right relationships to develop your career and expand your choices is a simple one; it might not be quick though. One will practice engaging different people for the skills and knowledge you require from them, through being of value to them. Over time one becomes practiced and comfortable with the process of engaging experts, using the necessary skills in a natural way. If you have not yet, read through the list of skills Career Builder identified as fundamental career skills. This list matured through years of career and business building.
A good place to start is to have a broad understanding of coaching, mentoring and counseling:
Coaching
Mentoring
Counseling
When working with an expert as a mentor, be aware not to fall in the trap of counseling.
Engaging an expert person for they’re knowledge, resources and skills, there are a few skills one will use:
Emotional awareness
Signal to transform into a positive mindset
Turn all emotional experiences into selected actions
Growing a win-win mindset
Interpersonal skills through actions
Covey’s Seven Habits of highly effective people
Giving and receiving information
Responding to anger signals
Productive listening
Effective questioning
The next step
Get to know the expert’s environment. Following is a list of possible actions to take, add or remove actions that fit your unique situation.
Read about the individual in books, newspaper, magazines and on the internet.
Talk to others about the individual.
What is this person interested in, hobbies, current projects, which topics is of interest to him/her?
Strive to spend time within the circles where he or she spends time.
Through gathering this information, always try to identify places where you will be able to add value to this individual. How would be able to make a positive difference to this individuals life? For example, the expert individual you would like to work with likes to build model aircraft. You are able to acquire such models at a discounted price. You have something of value to offer!
Remember to always be professional in your approach! Build relationship in an open manner, don’t be clandestine about your dealings, you might look like a stalker!
Talk to the expert every chance you get, share with them that you would love to learn from them. Ask how they think you would be able to add value them in exchange for their time. Always have a few suggestions how you would be able to add value.
Ask for advice and practice your “expert acquiring” skills at our community forums.
Find a career coach will grow and mature over the next months. Sign up for our Career Builder Ezine if you would like to stay up to date.
The complete list of Career Builder skills:
Delegation
Deadlines or Compelling events
We fear what we do not know or understand
Pathologies
Frustration is just a trigger
Flexible and adaptive way of handling people
Work in the center, not the individual
Having an “Everybody benefits” attitude
Burnout
Stress
Motivation

Find a career coach in your environment

w&t_elephant

I Advise

Find a career coach with the right relationships to develop your career and expand your career choices. Career Builder identified the essential career builder skills; use them to turn any career challenge into a career growth opportunity.

When experiencing frustration or fear in your career use these emotions as opportunities to fast track your career growth; use them to pro-actively grow your career!

Find a career coach

Career Builder assisted and is still assisting thousands of people in their career growth. We worked with more than thirty entrepreneurs and coached them through the process of building successful running companies. We are still working with this group of entrepreneurs and their companies as well as a new group of young entrepreneurs. Any successful business takes seven years to build.

Career Builder coaching processes are forged in the fire of building these successful businesses and the development of the people running them; these processes are being used in many other companies as well.

We have found a few cornerstone skills to be essential in building a thriving career or business. Career Builder shares these with you before going onto our Find a Career Coach process. We discuss these skills in the form of coaching sessions on the Career Builder Coaching page and in more detail on the Actionable Career Skills page, these skills include:

  1. Delegation
  2. Deadlines or Compelling events
  3. We fear what we do not know or understand
  4. Pathologies
  5. Frustration is just a trigger
  6. Flexible and adaptive way of handling people
  7. Work in the center, not the individual
  8. Having an “Everybody Benefits” attitude
  9. Burnout
  10. Stress
  11. Motivation
w&t_binoculars

I Explain

Successful people and companies have a natural way of handling challenging situations. Career Builder observed, applied and understands this natural process.

Career Builder’s Walk and Talk method of career coaching was developed working with the best. Studying at Harvard Business School (Owner/President Management program) we came to understand the application of these processes in companies even better. Some of the Harvard Business School case studies included companies like Hewlett Packard, Volvo, Taco Bell, PepsiCo and many others. In the early seventies we were exposed to and learned from Hewlett Packard company processes; later this knowledge was implemented in our own companies.

We developed career coaching contracts and learned which processes worked and which did not. All these experiences with career coaching led us to the current simple set of skills we base our career coaching processes on. You can own and direct these processes to build your career. Work in a group when implementing these processes or take part in the Career Builder community forums; it always works best to implement a process with a group. The group can be directly or indirectly involved; or contact a Career Builder coach.

1. Delegate and grow

What is delegation?

Delegation is when one is able to give the work you do not enjoy doing to another who does enjoy doing that work, but you stay responsible for getting the job done on time. Successful delegation is when another person excels in their careers because they enjoy doing the work you do not enjoy doing or do not have time for. Read more on delegation

2. Create your own compelling events / deadlines

Three tips to fast-track your career you can use right now:

Successful company builders know that people can and should be stretched. Unre Visagie built many successful companies. He stretches the people that work with him in building these companies; people discover depths within them they never knew existed. The knowledge successful company builders have is to know when to stop expecting more from an individual and allow that specific growth curve to play itself out. The trick is that anyone wanting to grow their careers can apply this same “pressure” to themselves in building their own successful careers. Have a career builder attitude!
Read more on creating your own compelling events and learn from a coaching session on deadlines and compelling events….

3. Fear of the unknown

Making career choices based on what is unknown is always a source of uncertainty for most. We fear that which we do not know. Imagine looking down a very dark tunnel running straight down into the earth. You are expected to jump into this hole, you expect this of yourself or others expect this of you. To you this hole looks like it just goes down forever, a never ending drop into a very deep abyss…
Actually the hole is only two meters deep, but you don’t know that because you only see the black opening! We are too afraid to jump into this hole simply because we know nothing of it.
Read more on Fear of the unknown, you will also find a coaching session others learned from

Find a career coach

Finding a career coach with the right relationships to develop your career and expand your choices is a simple one; it might not be quick though. One will practice engaging different people for the skills and knowledge you require from them, through being of value to them. Over time one becomes practiced and comfortable with the process of engaging experts, using the necessary skills in a natural way. If you have not yet, read through the list of skills Career Builder identified as fundamental career skills. This list matured through years of career and business building.
A good place to start is to have a broad understanding of coaching, mentoring and counseling:

  • Coaching
  • Mentoring
  • Counseling

When working with an expert as a mentor, be aware not to fall in the trap of counseling.

Engaging an expert person for their knowledge, resources and skills, there are a few skills one will use:

The next step

Get to know the expert’s environment. Following is a list of possible actions to take, add or remove actions that fit your unique situation.

  • Read about the individual in books, newspaper, magazines and on the internet.
  • Talk to others about the individual.
  • What is this person interested in: hobbies, current projects, which topics is of interest to him/her?
  • Strive to spend time within the circles where he or she spends time.

Through gathering this information, always try to identify places where you will be able to add value to this individual. How would you be able to make a positive difference to this individual’s life? For example, the expert individual you would like to work with likes to build model aircraft. You are able to acquire such models at a discounted price. You have something of value to offer!

w&t_elephant

I Advise

Remember to always be professional in your approach! Build relationship in an open manner, don’t be clandestine about your dealings; you might look like a stalker!

Talk to the expert every chance you get, share with them that you would love to learn from them. Ask how they think you would be able to add value them in exchange for their time. Always have a few suggestions how you would be able to add value.

Ask for advice and practice your “expert acquiring” skills at our community forums.

Explanation of the following skills will follow shortly:

  1. Delegation
  2. Deadlines or Compelling events
  3. We fear what we do not know or understand
  4. Pathologies
  5. Frustration is just a trigger
  6. Flexible and adaptive way of handling people
  7. Work in the center, not the individual
  8. Having an “Everybody Benefits” attitude
  9. Burnout
  10. Stress
  11. Motivation