Tag Archives: peter drucker

YMCA Happy Members come from Your Welcome Center

ATTENTION:  OUR BLOG MAY BE DOWN TOMORROW (FRIDAY) MORNING FOR SEVERAL HOURS.  Our Amazing Website Developers are Embedding our Blog into our NEW WEBSITE which may cause our Business at your Best Blog to be down.  Our New Website will be going live in the next several days and will have all the content you need!  We are Excited to introduce our new Website to YOU! Back to YMCA’s….

“The single most important thing to remember about any enterprise is that there are no results inside its walls. The result of a business is a satisfied customer.” -Peter Drucker

The employees that deal with your YMCA members the most frequent are the ones that get paid minimum wage, have high turnover, are younger in age, or are not always fully trained.  YOUR WELCOME CENTER.  They “have to” know everything going on in the organization because that is where all members are going to go for information.  That is where all questions are going from inbound phone calls.

Think about the complexity of your program structure and the constantly changing dynamics: Schedules, cancelled classes, pool closings, emergency announcements, and the list goes on.  All of this, the welcome center staff needs to be able to handle.  If the staff can not handle it, it will lead to member confusion, frustration, anger and eventually dissatisfaction with the organizations service.  Then your members leave the YMCA and join another provider.

If the welcome center staff does not know the details of the daily happenings at the YMCA then chaos and mutiny will pursue.  A communication system needs to be built and it must be able to communicate with your members and amongst your employees.

Too many times we have seen frustration and arguments with members and a staff person that “should have known about…”  Fill in the blank.  It is very difficult for staff to be the all-knowing wizards of the YMCA.  However, we can arm the staff with as much information, organized in a method that levels the playing field of communication.

Contact us for our communication and operating method for your YMCA Welcome Center:  info@theoctopussolution.com

Hey Octopus…What Direction Do We Go?

Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.”Peter Drucker

Starting a business can take you from zero to 180 miles per hour in the blink of an eye.  Once you start speeding down the decision making path, it becomes more and more difficult to turn the wheel in another direction without time, money, and resources.  Correcting a mistake wastes all three of these assets, which means making an effort to get things right the first time around is crucial.  Whether you are starting a business or have owned one for 25 years and are now starting to implement change, everything starts with planning and strategy.   Making decisions that can make or break your company is one of the most challenging and exciting aspects of being a business owner; the freedom to do what you what!

Early in our careers as small business owners we ran our companies by the seat of our pants. When problems arose we dealt with them; when things didn’t work, we fixed them; and when money didn’t flow, we worked weeknights and weekends to boost revenue.  Reacting to competition, customers, employees and all the other things that can jump out of the wood-work will get you no where fast.  Instead of focusing on growth and expansion, you will be running from one problem to the next like a chicken with its head cut-off.  If you have been through this frantic chase, you already know that it’s not fun. We can help you avoid those nightmarish days that run swiftly into the deepest hours of the night.

Even thought we don’t prefer working seven days a week, we sometimes have no choice in the matter.  Owning a small business is by no means a 9-5 job; it’s a lifestyle and one that you must be committed to in order to make it work—at least in the beginning stages. After you have this system dialed down, you will be able to remove yourself from running a reactionary business to running a business that more or less runs itself.  We have removed ourselves and you can too.

The kinds of decisions made in haste or with out proper planning/consideration can make or break your success.  The strategy and management of the company requires the owner to be able to plan and execute strategies to move the company in a profitable direction over the long term.  So how have we developed strategies for our company?

In many ways, however one of our favorite and most successful is to block an entire day out where we can sit, stand or pace in a room with lots of coffee and giant post-it notes and break our discussions into our 8 elements of running a business.  For example HR.  We have recently taken on 3 people to work with us which means we need a plan to deliver: Job descriptions, expectations, responsibilities, training, reporting, performance measures, and incentives.  What does the HR Strategy look like around these things and how does it tie into our direction as a company?

Brainstorming is a necessary part of running our business and a very essential part of developing strategy.  We give ourselves time to think by Shutting Off our Computers, Cell Phones and any other distractions and then engage in our process of getting all our thoughts on paper regardless of how crazy they may seem.  We organize our strategy sessions and then create action items, responsibilities, reporting, time-lines, etc.

Do not rush developing the direction in which you take your business and make sure you can communicate your plans so that everyone gets excited about where you are looking to go.

How do you strategize? Please leave us with your comments…or just enjoy the read!

Non-Profits need Marketing too!

“Nonprofits need management even more than business does, precisely because they lack the discipline of the bottom line.”

“Not-for-profit organizations are necessary ingredients in producing a good society, one in which business can thrive.  Civil society works to complement government in meeting human needs.”

-Peter Drucker, Management Expert, Source: Harvard Business Review, by Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Nov 2009 Issue

Non-profits are vital to the health of our society and moral character and many are under tremendous financial strain due lack of donations, lack of involvement and dwindling membership.  As the economy gets harder on individuals their willingness to spend on charities and non-profits decreases.  This financial crisis happening with many non-profits is just starting to take effect; in other words there has been a delay for these organizations.  So what now?

Non-profits need to start thinking way outside the box in terms of how they market, who they form alliances with and utilizing economies of scale with other not-for-profits.  To survive in this economy tough desicions…business decisions, need to be made to ensure the survival of the organization.  This means of thinking is new to many of these organizations because times have not been so tough.  But truly creative marketing can help to pull the organization out of the deficit.