PMC Merchants Meeting

I was excited to learn that the PMC Merchants Association is now open to all businesses in PMC, not just those located in the Village.  I’ll be at the next meeting to say hi and learn more about the businesses here!

Synergy Summit Follow Up

What a great meeting!  It was so nice to see all the mountain community business owners and nonprofit representatives in attendance.  Thank you to the Holiday Inn in Lebec for being such a great host!

If you weren’t able to attend the event, or were there and missed some of the resource websites mentioned, check out the “Resources” box here on the AFS website.

There were several interesting topics presented.  To summarize:

  • The UC Merced SBDC regional network is exploring the possibility of putting a satellite office in our community.  There is already a satellite office in Bakersfield, where local residents can go to utilize resources in the meantime.  They also have a very informational website.  They are also willing to send up a consultant if a few businesses want to schedule meeting time on the same day – check with our fantastic Chamber of Commerce if you’re interested.
  • Angel, Director of Client Services with Women’s Economic Ventures (but men can utilize their services too!) is a new Pine Mountain Club Resident.  Welcome Angel!  She told the group about the services offered by the nonprofit, including their small business loan fund which provides funding for startup or otherwise “unfundable” businesses.
  • Paul Sippel with the Community Development Program Department of Kern County presented information on the Kern Microenterprise Opportunity Program (KMOP) and the Revolving Loan Fund.
  • Dion and Debbie with the Holiday Inn told the attendees about opportunities for partnering with the hotel on presentations and marketing videos.  They want the “outside world” to know what our mountain communities have to offer!
  • And I (yay me!) briefly spoke about our accounting service and grant research website for nonprofits.  Thank you to Patric Hedlund of the Mountain Enterprise and panel moderator for pointing me out in the crowd and giving me the opportunity to speak about our services.

Increasing Profitability

One of the best strategies to employ while seeking to increase profitability can be boiled down to something my dear ol’ dad always told me.  “Water your roses and pull the weeds.”  That is a nice way of saying you have to evaluate your client base, put those clients into various categories and take action.

Here’s how to get started on this concept:

1.  Get your client listing and financial report and assign each client to one of four categories.   If you have QuickBooks, the Job Profitability Summary report may be a good starting point.  These client categories can be described as

(a) Profitable Key Clients – those who closely match your service/product offerings and core competencies, who are also profitable to your company.

(b) Non-profitable Key Clients - as described above, but for some reason are not profitable.

(c) Profitable Non-key Clients – those clients who are profitable to your company, but what you are providing may not closely match your service/product offerings.  In other words, you probably provide something to them outside of your normal business activity because you know it is profitable.

(d) Non-profitable, Non-key Clients – face it, you might really like these folks but what you provide doesn’t match what your business offers, and darn it, you’re not making any income either.

Guess which client you need to focus on first?  If you guessed the client in group d, you are correct.  This group of clients should be referred to someone else.  There are reasons for this beyond just boosting your net income.  First of all, if they’re outside of your normal business activity AND you aren’t making an income, you’re not likely to provide them with the service that they really deserve.  It’s not fair to them and it’s not good for your business.

Here’s how to handle the situation.  Find a service or product provider more in line with what that client needs.  Make sure that provider is reliable and someone you would feel comfortable doing business with.  Then refer your client to that provider and do what you can to facilitate the transition.  Now you’ve done something nice for your (now ex) client.  You immediately increased your net profit by restructuring your client base.  You also helped someone else build their business by referring a good match for them.  Hopefully both parties will reciprocate and refer clients back to you.

From here, most of your energy should be focused on your clients in group a.  This is already working well, so you want to take good care of those ‘roses’.  Look at those clients in group b and find out why they aren’t profitable for you.  Make adjustments as needed to move them into group a.  What makes the group a clients profitable and not group b?  Once you’ve gotten that figured out, you are well positioned to get your group b folks into the “A-Game”.

Now for group c.  As long as this group of clients isn’t keeping you from servicing your other two groups, you can continue to serve this sector.  Ideally, you should review the group and see if you can adjust their services to more closely match your core offerings, but there are only so many hours in the day!

Synergy Summit

I hope to see some friends and make new ones at the Synergy Summit at the Holiday Inn in Lebec!  There is supposed to be a surprise announcement – I can’t wait to find out what it is!