*A Book Review*
No B.S. Ruthless Management
By Dan Kennedy
by Michael C. Gray
August 5, 2008
Dan Kennedy will freely admit to you that he dislikes having a company that requires having many employees. On the other hand, many of the clients who have achieved stunning growth by following his marketing advice come to him with the management questions that go hand in hand with growth.
Mr. Kennedy got hands-on experience with management issues when he acquired a turn-around opportunity, a tape duplication service for speakers and information marketers.
He has also learned from individuals with whom he has shared the speaking platform, most notably an ex-convict who now helps businesses protect their assets from employee theft.
This book is a collection of hard-boiled wisdom from Dan's seminars where entrepreneurs pay thousands of dollars to hear his ideas. Now you can get the same information for only $14.95!
Dan stands a lot of conventional business advice on its head. He has no patience for the philosophy of trusting employees. He goes to the other extreme. Use a video surveillance system over the internet and let your employees know you are watching when you're not at the workplace. Periodically go through your employees' desks during the weekends to be sure they aren't hiding projects that should have been done weeks ago – especially customer refunds and processing payments.
"You must inspect to get what you expect." Every business should use some sort of "mystery shopping" to find out what customers are experiencing. Do you really believe your employees are following the script you gave them to respond to customer inquiries? (You did give them a script, didn't you?) Have regular training meetings to reinforce your procedures.
Are your employees sabotaging your marketing efforts by sending your customers elsewhere? Are your employees treating customer inquiries as an interruption to their "real work"?
Hire slow. Fire fast.
It's only natural to give extra privileges to your best performing employees. Just remember that eventually they all "go lame."
The worst number for a business is "one." You are extremely vulnerable if you are relying on one employee, one supplier or one customer!
Never delegate the marketing or the checkbook.
Kennedy doesn't let "the boss" off easy, either. The entrepreneur should be paying attention to the business, instead of doing what the business does. Employees can stock the shelves and serve customers. The entrepreneur should be defining the reason for existence of this business, designing systems and scripts (including choreographing the sales process), studying and understanding target markets, scheduling, designing and implementing marketing campaigns, and monitoring what is happening. Employees must be managed.
There is also a chapter on "Management by the Numbers," listing key statistics that every business should track. Some include cost per lead, average transaction value, lifetime customer value and contribution to profit.
Ultimately, you will have to decide what management philosophy to make your own. Kennedy makes a compelling case for his hard-boiled style. He will also admit that he breaks his own rules. I highly recommend that you read and seriously consider the ideas presented in Ruthless Management. You might find them especially valuable to survive in these difficult times.
Buy it on Amazon: No B.S. Ruthless Management of People and Profits: No Holds Barred, Kick Butt, Take-No-Prisoners Guide to Really Getting Rich.
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