What would a playbook used to operate a small business that grew over 1300 percent in ten years look like? That playbook is the manual I used to run the business I started, the $5000 Car Store, in 2000. Sales in that first year reached $237,000. The revenue projection before my buyout was for over 3 million dollars for calendar year 2010.
Did I derive my success from a savvy, entrepreneur temperament? Did I succeed because I started my business in the right place at the right time? Am I a graduate of Harvard Business School?
“No” to all these scenarios. I succeeded because I tailored my business to my customers’ needs, using practical, spiritual, creative techniques you can implement today to bring about the most successful business even in today’s current economy. You’ll read “how-to” turn customers into fans using something more important and “longer-lasting” than slick advertising techniques.
In the United States, there are 21 million mom & pop businesses (two or less employees) of which, over thirty thousand fail every month. One reason for this embarrassing statistic is the lack of a spiritual relationship between management, employees, and their customers. One way in which to view this would be like this; your team consists of a coach, its players and hopefully many fans that fill your stadium. If small-business owners viewed their business model as a championship game, one loss away from elimination, the prospect of failure would look entirely different. The desire for victory breeds success. What’s needed here is The Playbook, illustrating its creatively designed, time-tested plays that will lead your team to victory, thus thwarting failure
I remember my Bay Area neighbor, Oakland Raider quarterback Tom Flores, who later succeeded John Madden as the Raiders’ head coach. He took his team to two Super Bowls in three years. As a boy, I spent a lot of time playing with his twin sons, Mark and Scott, at their house. One night, after a great squirt-gun shoot-out in their front yard, Tom told us, “The thing that separates an average NFL quarterback from one with Super Bowl MVP status is a clear vision over the entire field—a vision that leaves no room for uncertainty. He knows within his red-zone, where and what his touchdown is.”
This separates him and his team from his competitors and leads them to victory. That was great wisdom, Tom.
Year after year, with only word-of-mouth advertising, I operated my car dealership with the vision that every day was a championship game with victory on the line. I implemented each of my sixteen chapters in my daily life, setting multiple business records even in a beleaguered economy. I catered only to customers whom the financial world deemed risky and unattractive. My connection to my customers extended to more than just a contract and a car.
My staff and I transmitted genuine care, concern, and empathy with each customer contact. We did this by creatively serving their needs in a way that motivated them to share that relationship with their friends, family, and co-workers. As a result, my company never advertised for new business. Contrary to recent publicity, Retail Trends, Inc. reports that when properly handled, this market of more than 100 million people exhibits the greatest loyalty and potential for profit in any economy.
If you are considering starting a small business or strengthening an existing one, implement my spirit guided, inspired lessons. You’ll witness how these 50-plus strategically engineered plays can produce a wildly successful business. Many small-business owners don’t have time to read another “how-to” business book. The Playbook for Small Businesses consists of short chapters designed for quick reading. Another option is to click here for the “show notes” and hear how these chapters come alive on radio with The Steve Henry Show.