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  • Do Your Prospects - Know - and Remember - Your Capabilities....?

    By Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Inc. – 06/20/2024 Published in  American Printer  :   “ In this article, Sid reviews a sales strategy for securing new clients without traditional hiring costs. Sid discusses how targeted prospecting and strategic emails could transform your approach, promising significant results in just three months. Read Sid's very informative article. ” “…In the course of a year, most Prospects will have at least two weeks of disappointment… from their current supplier…..” … ….Source: Anonymous   INTRODUCTION: I discouraged my client’s CEO from hiring a Sales Rep – to pursue new accounts…for his new Web-Press.   I believed he could achieve his objective of “one new publishing customer a month” – through different means.   Background includes : (a) he had never, in 13 years, had a successful Sales Rep, and (b) he did not in the privacy of his heart believe anything would be different – this time. At a recent Peer Group Meeting, after his Peers had given him their suggestions on how to hire a successful Rep, I asked, “ Would you like to hear an alternative, with radically lower cost, and lower risk…? Being an expert Cost-Accountant and CPA, I had his undivided attention (plus a few Peer Group Members.) Several Key Questions : Could you develop 150+ legitimate Publishing Prospects – in your trading area? (He and his V.P. of Business Development – both – said “ Yes .”) If we gave you the databases, could you in the next 30 days develop these Prospects’  top 2 to 3 Owners/managers’ emails …? (He and his V.P. of Business Development – both – said “ Yes .”) If we developed about “ 20 catchy Blast emails for your organization ,” for you to send to these 150+ Prospects – on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month, can you come-up with another 20-30 more for your company…?  (He and his V.P. of Business Development – both – said “ Yes, they thought they could .”) Here's my promise : “If you send one blast Email, every 1st and 3rd Wednesday, to 150+ Prospects, you’ll start to receive - at least one serious inquiry a week , that turns a Prospect – into – a Customer……within three months of your starting your Blast Emails (short messages, explaining your capabilities, and your unique culture, that make you who you are to customers who love you)….!” SUMMARY : You don’t necessarily need a new, full-time Sales Rep…You do, however need….. “ A Closer .”   Last week I had lunch with a CEO, who thinks he might want his V.P.,  who’s a very bright, experienced, trusted employee – to represent him in our CEO Peer Group. Their revenues are $7 million, and profitability exceeds 10%.   However, they have  8 Inside Sales Reps…and NO Outside Sales Reps .   His words at lunch were…” What we needed….was a Closer .”   Just a coincidence…?   I don’t think so.   “….I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones… is pure perseverance….” …. Steve Jobs

  • Is Your Leadership Measuring & Reviewing... At Least Quarterly... Your Customer Contact & Performance Changes......? Why Not....?

    By Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Inc. – 06/06/2024 Published in American Printer : “Sid reviews the keys to enhancing company performance and strengthening customer relationships. He dives into the details that make all the difference, from monitoring customer interactions to fine-tuning services. Discover Sid's practical growth tips and keep customers coming back for more.” Not reported by major news services….“…Despite the gradual slowdown in official inflation readings over the past several months, the Conference Board reported that....The share of consumers expecting higher interest rates over the year ahead also rose, to 56.2% from 55.2%....”… The Wall Street Journal, May 29, 2024. INTRODUCTION: If you were tracking closely what was changing in company performance – and - your customer contact behaviors, you’d have a better idea….of what to do next….! Too often, if the top-line and bottom-line look half-way acceptable, and particularly when comparing “Year-to-Date” numbers, then there’s little in-depth discussion about what appears to be changing, and what needs follow-up…! Too few organizations are reviewing, calculating…at least quarterly… Which customers did not call for a quote this month/quarter…? (Too often, this omission is only discovered after we’re six months “down the road”…) Which customers have an interest in a long-term agreement. (The value of your company would change almost immediately. Note: A few of our best clients have over 40% of their customers on “long-term agreements.”) What requests occurred that we did not respond positively to…? (These questions/requests can occur with CSR’s, Sales Reps, Drivers, Receptionists, and Estimators). Note: Did we follow-up to assist the caller, and learn more about them, and who they know or are related to…? Who requested a Service that they normally don’t request, and what was it? (e.g., Samples shipped to a Press Conference, delayed shipments after a “Rush Request,” Shorter runs that became Digital instead of Offset, Skipping of a Quarterly Publication, product put into Storage & Fulfillment, Trade Show support,  etc.) Which customers did we ask, “What would you like us to improve next time?” What did we hear…? Which target prospects did we ask, “On this project sample from your regular supplier, what do you wish were better?” What did we hear? Number of Plant Tours…especially with prospects & customers last quarter..? “Plant Tour Survey” results…? What are our goals re. Value-Added as a % of Revenues…? How are we improving the quality and content of our Requests for Estimates that our customers receive…? What Trade Shows were attended? Results…?  What needs to improve…? How many Referrals were captured last month…? Last quarter…? Were converted…? How many previous Referrals placed their 2nd and 3rd orders…? Which customers have upcoming Anniversaries…? Which customers received “Letters of Appreciation”… for their timely payments…? How many Periodic Business Reviews were conducted…with Top 20 customers? Do we have any scheduled for next quarter…? Were Reports issued to customers re. “What was learned…?” What % of our revenues do our top ten customers generate? Any Improvements…?  Any improvements expected…? What alterations were not charged? Why? Compared to previous months…? How many customer Proofs had errors? Why? Compared to previous months…? Follow-up…? What departments and shifts improved their productivity/revenue per employee hour worked…? Per payroll dollar…? Which employees are in skills development classes this quarter…? Which classes…? Where do we need better Cross-Training…and “back-up”…to ensure reliable deliveries? Are Sales Rep & Inside CSR Training Sessions scheduled for the upcoming quarter…?  Are Agendas approved by participants…? Have all employees received written Performance Reviews – in the last 6 months…? Someone… needs to take notes and issue minutes… from these discussions. And your next Monthly or Quarterly Review needs to begin with - a Review of these minutes…! SUMMARY: You can’t do everything at once….With that said, weren’t there a dozen or so options you just read – that caught your attention - that are worth initiating….? Too many organizations may give problems and opportunities… a limited Review…and then… fail… when it comes to “committed, relentless follow-up.” Accountability…flows from the top down. Customers want to… frequently be reminded…what their best suppliers are doing – to keep their performance at a top-notch, sharp edge…! Follow-up surprises and opportunities…are guaranteed…and tend to lead to thrilling, new initiatives…that improve the value of your customers, and your company…! “I’ll tell you what leadership is…It’s persuasion and conciliation and education and patience. It’s long, slow, tough work. That’s the only kind of leadership I know.”….President Eisenhower, Gen. Jim Mattis, Sec. of Defense, Call Sign Chaos, p. 19.

  • What If... Everyone... Did Something...

    By Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Inc. – 05/16/2024Published in American Printer : “Sid's article stresses the importance of individual and collective action, using the example of a commercial printing company as a catalyst for positive change in the community. It highlights the need for active engagement in addressing local issues. Read his insights to inspire change in a world craving accountability.” “Sid…. ‘Still enjoy your newsy & inspiring emails… Mary & I are increasingly involved in our community with Refuge Resettlement efforts. So far 4 Syrian & 3 Ukrainian families ... 30 folks deliriously grateful to be out of their Civil War (though many relatives still there!) and enjoying freedom in USA along with the opportunities to earn a living for their families in this country of FREEDOM. Best regards, Clint….” ….C. Clint Bolte, Respected Industry Consultant INTRODUCTION: What do we do with our time…? What could we do with our time…? My awareness is that we are on a slow but hopeful path to regain values we once honored – automatically – as a country – as a culture. We see this now at universities, as Boards are changing their budgets – from protecting programs that supported teaching diversity, equity and inclusion – that seem to have become instead – divisiveness,  exclusion, and indoctrination – to increased campus law enforcement and safety – for the laws “on the books – that were not supported – and enforced.” We see this as students carrying guns and ammunition to middle and senior high schools, placed in juvenile detention, with $100,000+ bonds, and parents are charged with responsibility for their children’s violations and assaults on innocent victims, whose lives and families were changed – forever. We see this in political arenas, as rejection of vicious “weaponization of our judicial system” – has slow but growing accountability, as we work to regain our sense of mutual respect and decency – for our system of democracy. In effect, none of us can continue to allow or expect – someone else to solve local problems. SUMMARY: Clint Bolte’s informative note – was a wake-up call for me, personally. We generally are safe in our homes, or should be – because of sacrifices and commitments – of others – many of whom went before us. A commercial printing company represents the crossroads of a community, and can have profound influence – for good. It’s our turn – at the front of the line. “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something, and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” ………Edward Everett Hale, American Author, Historian, and Unitarian Minister

  • Great Players… Have A Fierce Work Ethic… and A Great Coach

    By Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Inc. – 05/02/2024 Published in American Printer : “In this article, Sid discusses how talented employees are slipping away because they lack guidance. Learn how to cultivate champions with a strong work ethic and effective coaching. Don't settle for less—invest in your team's growth and watch them excel. Who will you empower next?” “We don’t have time to waste on Sales Training…or Listening Skills…or Relationship Development…for Reps… or Inside Sales Reps….We hire experienced Reps, and they need to be out selling….!”…..V.P. of Sales, with 14 Sales Reps INTRODUCTION: How many talented people, with hopes of finding an employer who wants them to develop and be successful pass through our doors as employees…and then move on…? Evidence is that most employees desperately want opportunities to develop. However, from their 1st day of employment, do they know: Who to go to with questions needing answers…? What their employer’s and supervisor’s expectations are for: (a) skills development, (b) what to learn and do, and (c) what not to do….? People forget…so quickly……(…if we ever knew…): Tom Brady was Draft Pick No. 199 in the 6th Round (Think about that…!). No one will beat his Conference Championship or Super Bowl records – in my lifetime. Steph Curry was too small, too skinny, and passed over by both UNC-Chapel Hill - and Duke. He then carried his Davidson College Team to the NCAA Final 8. Now in the NBA, he has changed the game of basketball at all levels (grade school, college and professional, Internationally, men and women – “Go Caitlin..!”) - Forever…with his 3-point shooting prowess – ! Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVDIA, the leading AI company worth over a Trillion dollars by market capitalization, was born in Taiwan. English is his second language. He and his brother were sent to live with a relative in Tacoma, WA - at the age of nine. To anyone who asks Jensen Huang, Tom Brady, or Steph Curry, they’ll tell us that their fierce work ethic - is the only reason they accomplished – and are still accomplishing – their life’s work…! “You gotta do the work….” You and I know Reps - whose major customers (a) don’t want to work with anyone else - but them…and… (b) after meeting your Rep once, don’t have time to see them again. I’ve told more than one client, who asked, “How do I pick the Sales Rep to hire? My response: “Give me the Sales Rep with mediocre talent, and a ‘fierce work ethic,’  and we’ll develop a champion.” However, “Give me a socially skilled, bright Rep, with little to no work ethic, and I’ll show you someone who will compromise almost everything they touch.” SUMMARY: Most champions tell us that there was – one person – usually a coach or a supervisor – who gave them: Recognition for a job well done. Instruction for what could be improved. And…repeatedly told them their potential was significant – waiting to be developed. Who in your “Circle of Influence ” – is privately thinking about moving on to another company ….or are you personally developing - into a champion…? “You can not allow your passion for excellence to destroy your compassion for them as human beings.”…..General Jim Mattis, Call Sign Chaos, p.173. Copyright © 2024 Chadwick Consulting, Inc. All rights reserved. | Contact Us Phone: (336) 558-4939

  • The Self-Delusion of Growing Sales – to Solve Profit Issues

    By Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Inc. – 04/18/2024 Published in American Printer : “A president seeks advice on improving profitability in a struggling web plant. Through a simple accounting revelation, they uncover stark differences in customer value. Sid's article highlights the need for profit-focused strategies and departmental accountability when facing economic challenges.” “Every few months a leader has to step back and question what he and his organization are doing”…..Sec. of Defense, General Jim Mattis, Call Sign Chaos, p.175. INTRODUCTION: The president of a sizable Web-Plant, specializing in promotional brochures and catalogs, in extending an invitation, wanted to be sure I understood up front: “We don’t like Consultants.” As I was ushered into their Boardroom, I found myself in a room of about twenty-some managers and senior executives, with one open seat…for me. Their president explained their dilemma. Simply – “We are out of capacity, with no more capacity available to grow either sales or profits…..and profits - are no better than break-even.” “What should we do…?” I turned to their IT group at the table, and asked, “Do your current accounting records show  ‘Value-Added dollars -for each customer’s revenues,’ as well as an ‘industry classification’ for each customer, such that you can list, in descending order, all customers, by industry classification, showing their collective classification’s  Value-Added Revenue %’s…?” His response: “We’ve never shown that, but we can….would take us about two hours.” They took me to a modest lunch, asking what I thought we’d see from their IT group when we got back, reminding me they didn’t like Consultants, took a ‘quickie’  Plant Tour, and we were back in their Boardroom, with everyone receiving their IT Department’s printout that showed: “All Customers’ Revenues. and Value-Added $’s, organized by Customer Classification Group (e.g., Ad Agencies, Higher Education/Universities, Gun Manufacturers, Ladies Fashions, Retail, etc., etc.) – in descending order.” At the top, highest Value-Added Customer Groups - were Italian Gun Manufacturers, and Italian Designer Clothing Label names. At the bottom, showing near zero and even negative Value-Added numbers -  were American Automotive Aftermarket Manufacturers. The Boardroom suddenly seemed unusually quiet; several folks even seemed uncomfortable. I asked, “With this new information, what do you think we should do?” To my surprise, the room remained quiet. (There was an ‘elephant in the room’….!) Their president, in a somber tone….spoke up, “Those bottom accounts are mine….that my CSR’s service for me, and for which I receive a commission….!” “…….As you were told up-front before your visit…. we don’t like Consultants.” Later, their V.P. of Sales asked me what he should communicate to his Sales Reps and CSR’s. I suggested he make sure they know who your Top Ten Value-Added Customer Classifications are going forward, and that he should meet privately with his president – for resolving the “lack of profit customers” issue. SUMMARY: Regrettably, any company that pursues adding sales, and then equipment and capacity, in order to add more sales – and so on, to…. eventually make a profit, gets “caught” – in the negative macro-economic cycle (called a “Recession”)  – that’s always waiting, and eventually occurs. Profit improvement is a department issue – not just a company issue. Too many departments have no goals or strategies to improve profitability, have no graphs on the walls – showing department performance. I’ve observed and know – too many lost presidents – after they face the reality  – they didn’t think would ever catch them. This deadly game is not just for companies – but is also true for countries – as the U.S. is projected to add another $2 Trillion to our indebtedness, that one day - does come due. Who’s in charge of leadership in your organization – for improving profitability….? “I’ll tell you what leadership is. It’s persuasion and conciliation and education and patience. It’s long, slow, tough work. That’s the only kind of leadership I know.”……..from President Eisenhower, per Sec. of Defense, Gen. Jim Mattis, Call Sign Chaos, p.19. Copyright © 2024 Chadwick Consulting, Inc. All rights reserved. | Contact Us Phone: (336) 558-4939

  • What's Your Organization's Comfort Level....?

    By Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Inc. – 04/04/2024 Published in American Printer : “Sid’s article reviews how setting ambitious goals and fostering team understanding are key to high performance. Temporary discomfort may occur. Still, it leads to improvement. Inspired leadership can significantly boost productivity. Your departments should embrace transparency and goal-setting for better results.” “I trained four years to run nine-seconds…and people give-up when they don’t see results in two months.”………….Usain Bolt, Brian Dodd On Leadership NTRODUCTION: Most high-performance organizations tell us that when establishing new, higher-performance goals, those goals and ambitions need to be understood and respected by their performance teams. Any pain or discomfort – tends to be temporary – by the “User Team” - going forward. Those not willing to put forth their best efforts – tend to soon depart, which also improves the performance of those remaining. (Hellooo…!) We see that in our basic military training units. We see that in our secondary school and college teams. Great players often credit their achievements to a coach – who inspired and nurtured them beyond what they thought was achievable. Consultant Ray Prince and I conducted 3-Day Pressroom Workshops, usually attended by half a dozen companies and up to ten Pressroom Crews. By our 3rd Day, commitments were in writing from attendees that would generate significant additional company productivity and revenue inspired by Front-line Pressroom Leadership. (Pressroom Managers were not allowed to attend or to speak to their crews. Once this was recognized and understood by attendees – honesty and candor could develop – including trust, and ambitious goals that were recognized as achievable. Follow-up of attendees 3-Days - was mandatory. Some attending companies reported attaining as much as one shift of additional productivity – per day - at no additional labor cost…! Results were shared among attending Press Crews. It’s been written that the American worker is potentially the most productive in the world. It’s in our DNA. No kings or queens came to America – only individuals and cultures – “striving to be free.” We see evidence to this effect in our inspirational NCAA Tournament games. For example, UConn is breaking and establishing radical new winning game margins – while getting to the Final Four as this column is written - beating great teams – without shooting, or needing to shoot - many 3-Point shots….! (Breaking the developing pop culture that you can’t win in today’s competition - without lots of 3-point shots.) UConn’s relentless intensity of purpose – takes your breath away…! (Do you dare think they aren’t measuring and critically, productively- reviewing – everything….? What could we do better….?) SUMMARY: Are your different departments, publicly charting, at least biweekly, their (improving…?) productivity…? Are biweekly (or monthly) department and shift discussions conducted, and reported to the Teams – about what could be – and is - improved…? (Are managers required to attend, but not allowed to interfere with discussions…?) If you have 5 employees, or 200, tell me you can’t measure and publicly chart your organization’s performance – that leads to performance improvement…? Interesting observation re. “Measuring Performance:” My neighborhood kids have afternoon half-court pick-up basketball games, I love to see. (They are not inside, glued to their digital smart phones…!) If you attempt to take away their ability to keep score, their game – instantly – stops….! Is there a lesson there for your departments…? Who’s nurturing the competitive spirit in your organization….? “I trained four years to run nine-seconds…and people give-up when they don’t see results in two months.”………….Usain Bolt, Brian Dodd On Leadership Copyright © 2024 Chadwick Consulting, Inc. All rights reserved. |Contact Us Phone: (336) 558-4939

  • What's Your Participation....... Your Choice...?

    By Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Inc. – 03/21/2024 “Today, Ukraine’s survival is in danger and America’s security is at risk….And it’s a matter of honor and security for America….Putin is watching. The world is watching…and history is watching…”…..Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin INTRODUCTION: The Atlantic and Pacific Oceans no longer provide temporary protection to the U.S…..Think about that…. There are only a few moments in our lives when what we do…can have a significant impact on our future…and the future of everyone dear to our lives…….Sometimes doing nothing IS doing something. The choice of not acting can leave us – and everyone we love – with a much-reduced future. Think about that. For over two years, Ukrainians are fighting…and dying…for their country, their families…and you and me…. our children, and our grandchildren, and our way of life…. That’s a fact…and not easy to think about… We are at an “inflection point” in world history….and U.S history… And every reader of this column has the ability to write, today, to their Congressional representatives (both Senators and House of Representatives), and friends. “Get that legislation passed - Immediately…for weapons and support to Ukraine.” SUMMARY: “Every generation must decide what Democracy means to them…” ... Ronald Reagan, October 27, 1964  (In a speech later named, “A Time for Choosing” - A major turning point in Reagan’s political career.)

  • How Quickly We Forget ...Historically... Tried and True....!

    By Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Inc. – 03/07/2024 Published in American Printer: “In this article, you will learn about the power of research and problem-solving skills in business. Sid tells a story about a former premier Print Consultant who excelled in his new field thanks to his research skills.” “Year 765…..Picture Books Printed in Japan.”  …Encyclopedia of Graphic Communications, pg. 852. INTRODUCTION: A premier Print Consultant - finally became tired of offering solid recommendations to Print owners, who preferred to do things “their way.” He subsequently, after doing his homework, moved to Idaho and promptly earned his Real Estate Brokers License. Being the keen observer he is, he observed several conditions “about his new neighborhood:” Values of properties for sale were numerous in the mid-to-high 7 and 8-figure ranges. (It seems other successful folks also like privacy, clean air, safe neighborhoods, year-round golf, skiing, reliable investment property values, and big-game hunting….!) Real Estate Brokers were serving their clients almost exclusively through social media platforms…! No one that he could uncover – was utilizing Targeted Direct Mail with high-end photography – for promoting listed local properties – in any price range, much less 7-to-multiple 8-figure price ranges…! The local buzz quickly spread that a new Broker was in the neighborhood. Repeatedly, local Brokers, out of the kindness of their hearts, wanted him to know that... “Print is Old School…we hate to see you fail…..” His success at “moving properties that had been on the market for over a year…or two…or three” …has sent a shockwave through the local Real Estate market. Local Real Estate Brokers don’t know how to Research, or how to cost-effectively use great photography, copywriting, and targeting of Print – to serve a committed client. When he walked into the local Real Estate Commission’s January Meeting …as their newest elected Member…the room reportedly became… suddenly quiet. SUMMARY: To my awareness, DIGM-2325 at the U. of Houston - is the only academic class at any school of higher learning – that teaches students through Case Studies – how to research and solve a business problem – through the use of public databases. Mark Hargrove is that Class’s outstanding professor – with approximately 10 to 12 classes a year of that course (now required). Dr. Jerry Waite, previous Program Coordinator, was repeatedly quoted to say, unhappily, that successful students in that course – “were being hired by more industries outside the Print Industry – than in the Print Industry”….at significant starting salaries, I might add. My interpretation is that the Print Industry generally doesn’t know how or care about solving customers' business problems….We primarily care about producing a better printed image… at a lower cost… The DIGM-2325 curriculum at the U. of Houston is available to other schools at little to no cost However, as difficult as it has been for other Graphic Communications Programs to attract students who want more than to create Websites and Digital Games, there have been no takers. I can say that because I wrote the Case Studies used in DIGM-2325, thanks to the foresight of Dr. Jerry Waite, in accepting my proposal. And finally, shouldn’t Research Skills be taught, especially with the growing impact of AI…? (Note: How we ask a question – determines the answer(s) we develop.) How are real estate prices in your neighborhood…? “It takes 20 years to develop a reputation, and five minutes to lose it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently”.…..Warren Buffett, 50 Leadership Quotes to Inspire You, Joseph Lalonde

  • How Many Emails Did You Discard….Yesterday… Last Week….Did You Discontinue Receiving….?

    By Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Inc. – 02/22/2024 Published in American Printer “Imperialism”…subordinating other ideas,  programs or entities…in an inferior fashion. INTRODUCTION: Believe it or not, we have a generation…really multiple generations…who do not know or understand Civilization’s history of development and the critical role of Print - in that development. Many of us hear the impact…weekly… of younger generations who are mentally locked into their smartphones, not developing their verbal skills…their athletic skills…their social skills….and in deep, dark, lonely frustration…going out and buying an AR-15……. Our society is learning to limit the daily time allowed on smartphones….Healthy human development needs multiple stimuli….for balanced, strong, resilient development. Now brace yourself. We not only have a long list of major suppliers who have walked away from substantive support of our Graphic Communication Schools of higher education, we now also have Graphic Communication Program Leaders who appear to (a) not understand the distinct values of Print - for our society’s and democracy’s development, but also (b) who are turning and over-emphasizing in their Digital Media Programs…through… New Curriculum in Digital Media. Digital Media Fairs for their students…. And potential employers (to the exclusion… of Print and Packaging….employers). SUMMARY: As you may question the accuracy of this information, your fact-finding of major Graphic Communication Programs should turn-up that these troubling Program changes… are very much in motion. However… our society has repeatedly rewarded a balanced communications education, and media. Exclude Print, and you’ve handicapped not only the message….but also the messenger…..perhaps for a generation… How Many Emails Did You Discard…Yesterday.…Last Week….How Many Did You Discontinue Receiving…..?

  • A Train Wreck...In Slow Motion....!

    By Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Inc. – 02/08/2024 Published in American Printer: “Sid warns about a financial crisis looming. He mentions that office buildings are empty, cities are losing residents, and banks are in trouble….” “…This time will be different….”……Anonymous INTRODUCTION: As hard as this condition may be to grasp, certain financial conditions look all too similar…. to 2008….! Conservatively, New York City has over 95 million square feet of empty offices in major office buildings.  (We are told that’s the equivalent of over 30 Empire State Buildings.) The statistics for other cities, large and not so large - are similar. Over the last 3 years, our 10 largest cities lost over 2 million residents (resulting from increased crime and increased taxes to make up for local lost tax revenues and relaxed work-related residency requirements – much in pursuit of an improved quality of life). When tax revenues are lost from one source, municipalities tend to turn to sources…still available. Given the magnitude of growing office vacancies (…have you seen the layoff announcements over just the last 45-60 days…?) and demographic changes from fewer people required to live near where they work, major debtors who refinanced before and during the Pandemic – are walking away, requiring banks to take possession. With interest rates being what they are and often excessive costs for reconstructing an office building into apartments and condominiums, it’s understandable that many debtors are …walking away. In New York City alone, over $1.5 Trillion in loans are due for renewal  - in the next two years….! How many of our readers count on the value of their physical plant for their retirement – and as the financial legacy for their grandchildren? (Remember how  owners counted their company’s “value” - in the Presses they (and the bank) owned…?) The Federal Reserve is on record that it no longer allows (at this time, with more to come) banks to “kick the can down the road” re. refinancing. Empty office buildings (of all designs) will be marked down on banks’ balance sheets. Reports are circulating that previous building prices are being cut -40 % and more, with more discounting coming on the next round. These conditions appear…. inescapable. SUMMARY: There are several actionable take-away’s here. First, you may want to prepare yourself for a “reduced value of your company’s assets on your balance sheet – by your bank.” If that occurs, what are your financing restrictions, and options…? Are you using mostly a local or regional bank? We are told that banks most adversely affected – are the small and regional banks, who have approximately 30% of their balance sheets tied-up in empty office buildings. Second, if you’ve delayed steps to improve your (a) customer development strategy, (b) revenues, (c) pricing and (d) profitability, time may no longer be on your side. At our upcoming CEO Peer Group Meeting, I’ve asked one of our Members, an unusually gifted CPA, to lead a discussion to assist our Members to better understand their different fixed costs. His Presentation – will be rare…As a Web Printer, with no experience in Print prior to 13 years ago, he’s increased his company’s revenues over 400%, without any outside Sales Reps. And his historical profitability makes his company - a “profit leader.” The banks have been quiet so far re. their challenges – that just keep growing. (That quiet period appears to soon be over.) Do your homework. Be especially careful re. any new debts. 2008 to 2010 – was a horrific period – for too many good companies, and families. Many banks asked their commercial print customers  - to find another bank. Whether they say so or not, your customers are interested in a “flight to quality,” and so should you.  Recent whispers of growing Accounts Receivables – may not be a coincidence. But….you must purposefully act…! Finally, don’t expect much mercy and leniency from your banker. Fed Chairman Powel was recorded recently to say, “Ultimately, all we have is our Integrity, and we’re not about to lose that.” “Give me a lever, a fulcrum, and a firm place to stand, and I will move the world.”……………………….…Archimedes Research Reference: CBS 60 Minutes, The Wall Street Journal

  • Things....Money Can't Buy....!

    By Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Inc. – 01/18/2024 Published in American Printer : “Success isn't just about size. Prioritize culture and ensure your team feels heard. Identify who lifts or drags your team. Avoid settling for mediocrity. Lead by example, elevate performance, and focus on customer satisfaction. Challenge the norm—why settle for less?” “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”  …Peter Drucker, Consultant, Psychologist, Philosopher, Counselor, Writer INTRODUCTION: Getting bigger does not make you better. Last count, there are 32 teams in the NFL (established in 1920, with 14 teams). The worst performing teams each year are awarded modest next year advantages by the league…. over top-performing teams, as an assist to keep poor performing teams, like the Detroit Lions – somewhat competitive. Current Detroit Lions Coach, Dan Campbell, hired on January 20th of 2021… “…started his grueling work with the Lions knowing they had not made the Play-offs - in 32 years.”  (An unprecedented NFL season losing Record.) Faced with such a challenge, his top priority – was not player selection for the upcoming player draft, or selection of an offensive or defensive strategy. He reports his number one priority - was “…Culture….” He had to win the hearts and minds of his players, if he was to get them to perform differently, to want to perform continuously better – together…..He had to listen…without ceasing…to every player (…to… “what was said…and …to what was almost said”)… ….and then he had to follow-up on all real and implied promises.... No exceptions. How would you describe your organization’s culture….? Doesn’t every employee affect what customers experience…? (Where is “Winning and retaining Customers”… on your average employee’s daily priorities….?) Do your associates believe… (all of them) ….that you listen…to everything they say…and… everything they almost say….? And if they don’t…what are you missing…that includes some of the most important information you need, to understand and properly manage… your limited resources? SUMMARY: Who in your organization is quietly, honorably - carrying his/her department…in the midst of mediocrity…? Who would his/her associates say – is carrying their department…? Who is noticeably choosing not to “push themselves - to perform better?... To be proactive in addressing customer issues needing attention…” Whose mediocre performances are pulling down the performances… of those around them…? As an informal “acid test”…Who do customers say they are glad to work with…? And who works with customers who seldom receive a compliment…? Are you leading… by example….? Why are you accepting mediocrity…? “Coaches lose more games, than players…” …...Bill Belichick, Winningest NFL Super Bowl Coach in NFL History, with 11 Super Bowl appearances and 6 Super Bowl Wins

  • "Omission" of Communications That Support Customers... Can Lead To... Lost Customers...!

    By Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Inc. – 01/04/2024 Published in American Printer : “Discover the untapped potential of recognizing excellence in an industry where connections matter. Sid Chadwick delves into the power of awards and how they go beyond accolades. In a world where recognition is currency, find out how award-winning Print suppliers create a following and secure future projects.” “…it wasn’t my mission; rather from private through general….it was our mission…we had to win only one battle: for the hearts and minds of our subordinates….”…………….General Jim Mattis, Call Sign Chaos, p.239. INTRODUCTION: Customers …who use Print as part of their promotion mix…do talk to each other….. Creative Agencies… have private, joint luncheons together… sometimes. Graphic Designers…are driven…not only to perform their design talent, but are understandably obsessive… to receive recognition…for awards that their talents provide their clients… and… their Commercial Printer. An industry association’s recent “Call For Entries”….for recognizing Print and Design excellence…is highlighted at an annual Awards Banquet … representing “58 Years Of Recognizing Excellence In Graphic Arts”…that… “tells your employees you are proud of the work they produce.” This particular association has developed their Awards Event into what appears to be its “highlight event of the year.”  (Some members I’ve personally heard say, “Those Awards for recognition of our personnel are the no.  one reason for our Membership.”) After reading, and then rereading… their eloquent promotional Awards Banquet brochure, designed and created to promote benefits to Printers… to encourage investments in multiple Entries….I realized I could find no benefit mentioning… … directing… Award Winning Printers to recognize and promote their Awards…to their: Customers, Creative Agencies, and their Graphic Designers. The association’s representative, on further inquiry, wrote me that “…companies still buy plaques for the customer and/or designer...” Maybe they do… and… maybe they don’t. However… if they don’t invest in luncheons, press releases, websites, plaques, and trophies…for self-promotion for their creative sources, then as their creative Customers see their competitors’ awards flashed in local media, on stationary, on websites…and at the monthly cocktail hour….well…Guess who receives their creative work next year? SUMMARY: The Print supplier who knows how to recognize and acknowledge Creative Customers…who deserve public… even extravagant…   recognition…is creating a following. Yes,  some “…companies still buy plaques for their customers and/or designers….” Maybe they do… and… maybe they don’t…. However,  should a luncheon and personal letter from the Print President, sent to all their customers, target prospects, suppliers and news media, listing and describing their Awards, and their talented Creative Sources – seem beneficial ….? How would the Customers vote….? “…We must do everything possible to advance an…order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values…”…Secretary of Defense, General Jim Mattis, Letter to the President, Call Sign Chaos, p.246.

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