Marketing can be fun. Management is hard. This book has been one of Dan Kennedy's least popular, but it is also one of his most important books.
As Michael Gerber pointed out in The E-Myth, many "entrepreneurs" have actually created jobs for themselves. The pet groomer grooms pets, the doctor cares for patients, the grocer stocks shelves, etc. They don't operate and manage their practice or store as a business. To be successful and to avoid being a slave to their own business, the business must be managed.
Dan Kennedy admits he dislikes managing large organizations. He prefers to create management problems for them by generating mountains of customers that become a challenge to serve. In this book, he shares his "hard boiled" advice about running a business more effectively. Many of his recommendations are counter to those promoted in popular management literature.
One example is the "open door" policy. Kennedy tried it in his former company, which manufactured recordings for speakers to sell. He soon found his personal productivity was destroyed with constant interruptions. He closed the door and had employees preschedule appointments to discuss their issues and his personal productivity soared.
Kennedy is obsessed with employee theft of time and goods. He removed inventory from caged areas and stored toilet paper and other supplies that employees were stealing in the secure caged areas. Kennedy also recommends that employers have video surveillance installed in employee offices that can be monitored remotely using an internet connection. (Some might believe this may create an atmosphere of distrust. On the other hand, people may be more conscientious when they know someone may be watching them.) He also recommends inspecting employees' desks during weekends. He has found unfulfilled orders stashed away by employees who felt they were overloaded.
The two areas that Kennedy believes should not be delegated by a business owner are the checkbook and marketing. These two items should at least be closely supervised.
The second edition features chapters contributed by Keith Lee about installing and maintaining outstanding customer service procedures. Since getting repeat business and referrals from happy customers is essential for business success, these chapters are a valuable addition.
One of the best features of this book is the chapter on Management by the Numbers. Two business aphorisms are "what you can measure, you can manage" and "what is measured gets done." The financial reports that are produced by most accountants are historical documents. He discusses essential statistics that aren't included in conventional accounting classes, including the lifetime value of a customer, cost per lead, cost per sale, and average transaction value.
Kennedy explains his management philosophy in an entertaining way that is fun to read, including some appropriate cartoons. Every business owner and manager should own, study and implement No B.S. Ruthless Management of People & Profits.
Buy it on Amazon: No B.S. Ruthless Management of People and Profits by Dan S Kennedy (27-Nov-2014) Paperback.
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