rboxx - CBMC International

The Illusion Of Communication

june 3 mm

Early in my banking career, I had the difficult task of communicating to one of our customers that our loan committee had decided to decline his loan request. When I met with this individual, I thought I had delivered the bad news with gentleness and sensitivity.   However, I soon discovered there was a problem. The … Read more

Asking The Wrong Question?

February 1, 2016 – Rick Boxx

Dan, a budding entrepreneur who was eager to start his career as an independent businessman, called me recently asking for counsel and some assistance. He asked me very directly, “Can you help me apply for, and borrow, all the money I need to start a new business?”

 

This question did not surprise me. Many entrepreneurs assume that borrowing as much money as possible will prove to be the solution for their funding problems. If there is enough financial capital available to them, they reason, how can they not succeed? However, many years of experience – both as a businessman and as a consultant to other business and professional people – have taught me that if we are willing to pray and seek God’s wisdom, He usually has a better plan than simply trying to pool enough financial resources to pursue our business goals.

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Cash Flow Conundrum

Oct 19, 2015  – Rick Boxx

BUSINESS DILEMMA EDITION

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a once a month series of “Monday Manna” focusing on business dilemmas and ethical issues in the workplace. After a summary of the problem, we offer questions for personal consideration or group discussion, along with comments and biblical principles that might apply.

 

Clay owned a car dealership that once had been very successful but had stumbled onto hard times. Cash flow was almost nonexistent, yet his bills still had to be paid if he were to be able to keep the doors open. Clay’s company was selling some cars, but not enough to support the monthly overhead.

To offset the problems with cash flow, Clay had formulated a financing plan with his local bank in which they loaned him a percentage of the selling price for each car he was trying to sell, with the understanding that each time one of the financed cars was sold, he would pay off the entire loan balance for that car.

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Business Like Chess, Not Checkers

Oct 5, 2015  – Rick Boxx

The process of establishing and operating a business used to be simpler. Customers had expectations and businesses responded. Then, with the Internet and other technological advances, the pace of doing things quickened and business became faster and more complex.

 

In Mark Miller’s book, Chess, Not Checkers, he uses a recreational metaphor to remind us of the importance of strategy in business today. In business, playing a responsive game of checkers used to be adequate. One move at a time, react to the opponent’s last move. However, in today’s fast-paced world, well thought-out and executed strategies become crucial to success. A chess champion succeeds by remaining several moves ahead of the competition. So if you have been playing checkers in business, maybe it is time to understand the times and begin playing chess by developing a new strategy.

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Customer First – Or Shareholder First?

Sep 7, 2015  – Rick Boxx

Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group Holding Limited, a pace-setting e-commerce company, and one of the wealthiest business people in China, explained his simple, straight-forward business philosophy during an interview on a TV news magazine program. Mr. Ma said at Alibaba, “Customers are first, employees second, and shareholders are third.”

The entrepreneur went on to state, “If you take care of your customers, and your employees, they will take care of the shareholders.”

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The Challenge Of Retaining Customers

Aug 3, 2015  – Rick Boxx

An article in the Harvard Business Review stated that on average, businesses lose 50 percent of their customers every five years, often due to poor customer service. Since both success and survival of most businesses is predicated on experiencing net revenue growth every year, constantly prospecting for new customers is critical – unless more can be done to retain existing customers.

Most leaders of both for-profit companies and non-profit organizations understand the cost of retaining an existing customer is far less than what it takes to acquire a new customer. Yet this reality is frequently overlooked, resulting in under-serving existing customers. Many leaders do not even have any specific knowledge or statistics on the volume of customers that leave their businesses in a typical year.

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Serving A Vendor With A Helpful Rebuke

Jul 6, 2015 – Rick Boxx

Have you ever thought about the importance of constructive criticism, or a timely rebuke? Several years ago, a printer we had been using for some time delivered a project to my office that was intended to represent our organization visually to thousands of people. Upon reviewing the work, however, the colors failed to match what we had requested. They were not even close to our instructions.

My tendency is to lean toward being a people-pleaser, so I struggled concerning what I should to do. “I don’t want to sound like a complainer,” I reasoned. “Maybe the colors are not that far off, and we can overlook the fact they are not an exact match.” My assistant at the time, however, did not share my struggle with being unwilling to hurt someone’s feelings. She knew what needed to be done.

“We can’t send this out looking like this,” she asserted. “They will have to do the job again.” 

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The Priority of Employee Appreciation

Rick Boxx

Dr. Paul White, co-author of Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, discovered in his research that 51 percent of managers believed they were doing a good job in striving to recognize employees for work done well. However, only 17 percent of actual employees said they felt their managers were doing a good job of recognizing their efforts.

This gap, both in perception and practice, can understandably cause discontent in the workplace and result in lower productivity and poor morale. The blame does not fall entirely on the shoulders of top executives and managers, however. Dr. White stated his studies have revealed many reasons for this difference, including:

  • People tend to remember negative comments more than positive comments they hear.
  • Many people do not or cannot receive praise well.

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Assigning Responsibility

Assigning Responsibility Rick Boxx When I have a project that requires only my expertise, I find I can easily focus on producing an excellent outcome. If a project requires an entire team, however, achieving excellence becomes more complex.   A team typically has multiple people with different perspectives, experiences and ideas about how something should … Read more

Lighting Our Way Through the Workplace

Lighting Our Way Through the Workplace Rick Boxx Early in my business career, while working for a certain bank president, many times I needed specific direction for handling critical issues at the bank. My boss used these opportunities to train me in the way he processed business decisions, even showing me how the Bible aided him … Read more

Protect Your Supply Lines

Protect Your Supply Lines Rick Boxx One of our consulting clients typically experiences lean winter seasons because business is slow during those months. Some time ago, as we reviewed and evaluated the company’s projected cash flow for the winter, it became evident there would be difficulty in paying suppliers on time. Many companies in situations … Read more

Easiest Customers to Get — Ones You Already Have

Easiest Customers to Get — Ones You Already Have Rick Boxx Many business leaders love to go “on the hunt” for new customers. Perhaps there is the “thrill of the chase,” the excitement of identifying a new prospect. Then there is the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment that comes from luring a customer from a … Read more