Author Archive

Starting a new business in Toledo

January 5, 2010

One year ago, Reliable Delivery made a decision to plant brick and mortar in Ohio. With our branches all centered around our corporate facility in Romulus, the decision to open an Ohio delivery company only forty-five minutes south of us in Toledo was easy. The effort it would take to make it happen; however, proved to be much more difficult.

We started first with location. Paul and I spent days searching Toledo and surrounding cities for a good location. We finally settled on 6010 Skyview Dr. The distance from both TOL and DTW airports was perfect and it offered excellent access to the major freeways. We were able to secure a great deal so we went for it. Our location needed some major renovation but after months of hard work and persistence, it’s beginning to represent Reliable Delivery and “walk the talk”.

Not all of the work we had to accomplish on our Toledo courier company was cosmetic however. We also had months of ironing out phone issues, internet, electrical, heat and AC, water leaks, prepping receiving areas, and the list goes on and on…and on. It was one of the largest, most taxing projects I think I’ve ever been involved in with Reliable Delivery. To see where we are now, after only one year, is truly amazing.

The amount of work we put in to setup a delivery service in Ohio never crosses my mind these days. In this first year alone we have more than doubled the workload since we first started in Toledo. We have brought on a full sales team, doubled our driving force, and started to fill the 13,000+ Sq Ft Warehouse we have available to our Toledo customer base. It’s exciting to think about next year and what we will have accomplished when I look back at 2010.

Reliable Delivery in Toledo is prepared. Everyone on our team here has put in overtime, scrubbed floors, trained after hours, tested phones, pressed pants, and prepared to serve our surrounding businesses. After long grueling days and hard work; we are ready!

Advertisements

Finding Time Like a Modern Day Mob Boss

November 24, 2009

In business, making the right decision is only valuable if it’s timely and implemented well. But how do you make a right decision quickly? It’s hard enough to make the right decision, let alone having to make that decision quickly.

The answer? Think like a mob boss, or at least, take a few lessons from one from TV. Anthony Schneider wrote a book based on America’s favorite fictitious gangster Tony Soprano of HBO’s “The Sopranos”. Called “Tony Soprano on Management,” the book talk about making good decisions quickly.

“Time is the new money,” Schneider says. We want more of it, try to spend it wisely, and work to save it.” 

Take a minute and draw up a vision in your mind of the many things you would like to accomplish in your life. I’ll bet you came up with a long list, and thinking about accomplishing it all can be daunting. That is why any leader will tell you managing time is too important to disregard, for mafia bosses and CEOs alike.

Tony has a wife, kids, mistresses, capos bickering with one another, major new business opportunities, black bears invading his yard, the FBI watching his every move, rival families rising up against him, surreptitious counseling sessions … and the list goes on. Few of us would ever live Tony Soprano’s life (or would want to), but we could take some pointers from him: he manages his time well.

Tony’s ability to make quick decisions boils down to easy, manageable actions:

  1. He is a keen observer of people. He takes the time to listen and learn behavior. He knows how someone will react before he even asks the question. Take the time to think out reactions, it will save you the time of cleaning up a failed decision that yielded an unexpected response.
  2. He prioritizes, making lists and moving time from less important tasks to more important tasks. If there is a meeting he doesn’t need to attend, he skips it to do things that can’t wait. Don’t waste your time where you aren’t needed. Focus on urgency.
  3. Tony acts fast. When it comes to decision making Tony knows that “saving time on one thing allows leaders to use that time elsewhere – and benefits accrue.” Tony doesn’t drag his feet. When he does he knows it could cost him money, or worse his people’s lives. He carries out hard decisions quickly.
  4. He expects others to be fast too. When someone takes too long completing an assignment or arrives late to a meeting, Tony gets annoyed. Business must run on time and be “fast and steady”. Make sure those in business with you know that time is important and delegate your tasks to those who know it.
  5. When Tony’s working, he’s working.  When he is driving with Furio or his capos he is discussing business. He is always “checking up” on his business even in short conversations with his people. Everything Tony does during his work day is thought out and always has a goal that is focused on improving his business.

At Reliable Delivery, time is the key aspect of the Toledo delivery service we provide to our customers. They expect us to be “On Time…Every Time”. Why? Because that is our promise. Day in and day out we have to make tough decisions in literally seconds. Our Capture Operators (CSR’s) are trained to take an order in under one minute. Our dispatchers have been taught how to assign a maximum amount of work in a minimum amount of time, often working with other dispatchers to decrease assignment time. We have given our customers time sensitive expectations, and the only way to live up to our guarantee is to continuously focus on properly managing our time.

What are your tricks for managing time? Leave a comment below, email us at blogeditor@reliabledelivery.com or connect with us on Twitter at twitter.com/reliabledeliver.

How Pig Headed Discipline and Determination Will Increase Your Profits

November 17, 2009

Chet Holmes offers an audacious promise on his Web site www.chetholmes.com:

“NO company would be able to compete with the company that masters the material in this superbly crafted book. You would take the business you want from whomever you want to take it and they will be powerless to stop you. You would pre-empt your competitors at every turn, even at a higher price.”

This is the guarantee Holmes makes for his book “The Ultimate Sales Machine”. As a business person how can you NOT read this book after seeing such a strong guarantee? I had to pick it up and find out if this guarantee, like so many others, was just too good to be true. After reading this book three times over within the last few months, I can assure you the above statement is both too good and true.

The book’s foundation stands on the idea that becoming a master is not about doing 4,000 things, it’s about doing 12 things 4,000 times. Chet talks again and again about how determination is the driving force behind impressing ANY customer you may have. He goes into great detail about what it takes to train your people, host effective meetings, obtain your dream clients, and operating like a machine. You really get an honest feel for Chet Holmes’ attitude throughout the entire book and after applying that same attitude in your business you will see results almost instantly.

One thing we have had in place at Reliable Delivery is what Chet Holmes calls the “Dream 100”. Our new business team works day in and out on obtaining new business for our company.

One way they do it is by forming a strong client target list. The list consists of 100 dream clients: the biggest, strongest, most well suited clients that they can “dream” up. They will then do whatever they can to attract these businesses to us, stressing the strong suits our Grand Rapids delivery company brings to the table. Our team will not stop until they have successfully won over that dream client.

Thanks to the pig headed discipline and determination of our New Business Team, Reliable Delivery has never stopped growing. That can only be attributed to our Sales and Marketing team. Without them and their passion, we would quite simply not exist today.

What are the things you focus on to grow your business? Please leave a comment below, email us at blogeditor@reliabledelivery.com or connect with us on Twitter at twitter.com/reliabledeliver.

Your Business Is Doomed To Fail

October 20, 2009

Business bankruptcies increased a dreadful 54 percent in 2008 compared to the year before. Business filings skyrocketed from 28,322 in 2007 to 43,546 in 2008. Needless to say, the statistics are grim.

This year may yield our highest bankruptcy figures ever and, with good reason, many business owners are afraid. As a business owner you need to be prepared, and sometimes, get out of your own way to face reality and recognize when your business is veering into trouble.

How do you recognize those? Well, if you or your company matches any of those described in “How the Mighty Fall and Why Some Companies Never Give In,” by Jim Collins, you might need to take a closer look at your direction. 

You can read Collins’ description of the five stages of a company’s decline on Businessweek.com here.

Collins lays out each stage, including dangers to be cautious of as each level plunges you further into inevitable loss of your business.

In Stage 1: Hubris born of success.  Collins warns of arrogance within your business. This dangerous attitude breeds a sense of infallibility and causes you to lose sight of your weaknesses, sometimes until it’s too late.

In Stage 2: Undisciplined pursuit of more. Collins cautions businesses not to “make undisciplined leaps into areas they cannot be great in.” Faltering businesses must stay disciplined, and take calculated risks to build on the success they’ve already experienced.

In Stage 3: Denial of risk and peril. Be honest., and fearless about looking at the truth of your situation. The further you deny that your business is failing, the deeper the puncture holes on your ship. Soon you will be sinking, and it will be out of your control.

In Stage 4: Grasping for salvation. At this stage, the business’s failure is finally visible.  A stage four business will grab at straws, attempting any idea and following any option for possible success, the “silver-bullet” as Jim Collins calls it.

In Stage 5: Capitulation to irrelevance or death. At this point, the company’s financial backbone has broken.  It’s game over. The business has lost relevance in its market and is now dead weight around any good ideas that might have survived. Faith is lost and pursuit is forfeit.

Reliable Delivery has, without question, experienced incredible blessing. Throughout our more than 30-year history, Reliable Delivery has avoided big layoffs, recorded an increase of profit annually, and in early 2009 expanded over its Michigan border to start an Ohio delivery company and become a regional player. Collins ideas are priceless; but for us, so is reality.

We have a firm policy of “freedom of mouth” among our employees. We want their ideas, but just as importantly, we want their view of what’s happening with the company, and on the ground. It’s been a vital tool to our success now, and we know, in the future.

We’d love to hear what you think. Please leave a comment, email us at blogeditor@reliabledelivery.comor connect with us on Twitter at twitter.com/reliabledeliver.

 

*Statistics obtained from Bankruptcy Action*