Roy's Blog

February 1, 2015

Answer 3 questions and you have your #BusinessStrategy

Traditional business planning methods have issues; they’re all screwed up

They are generally viewed as a time consuming and expensive process. People don’t look forward to it; it’s not a “fun” experience.

My Strategic Game Plan Process process is simple. Answer 3 questions and you have your strategy.

1. HOW BIG do you want to be?
2. WHO to SERVE?
3. HOW do you intend to COMPETE and WIN?

1. HOW BIG? The process starts out with determining your growth goals. how much top line revenue do you want to generate over the next 24 months? Revenue is the best measure of growth because it is an expression of how the market “feels” about you; it is easily measured understood. A 24-month planning period forces you to execute TODAY and not wait for the “hockey stick” to happen in year 4 of a traditional 5-year plan. 

HOW BIG drives the strategy. The bolder the growth goal the more aggressive and risky the strategy required to deliver it. For example, a strategy to generate a 50% increase in revenue would be significantly different that one designed to produce a 10% increase.

2. WHO to SERVE? The second step in the process is to chose the customers you intend to serve. Pick customer groups that have the latent potential to deliver your revenue goals and leverage the competencies of your organization.


And be prepared to “dump the customers” that are no longer part of your strategic focus. Keeping them will only drain your resources and waste your time with no economic return.

3. HOW to WIN? The third step is the most critical in establishing your game plan. This is where you decide how to differentiate yourself from others who are competing with you for THE WHO.

Engage your team in what I refer to as creating your ONLY Statement. The ONLY statement reads: ‘We are the ONLY ones that…’ This is the ultimate manifestation of a unique competitive position in the marketplace.

And avoid aspirations; they have no place in thinking about your competitive position.

This is not a task for the faint-of-heart. It is difficult to do and involves looking at every nook and cranny in your organization for opportunities to separate yourselves from the pack - brand, service, product, product support, and how you leverage technology are some examples of where you can look to create your ONLY Statement.

There it is. Crisp. Simple. Clean. And it can be used very effectively to communicate your renewed direction internally and to your investors if required.

Develop your Strategic Game Plan in less than 2 days and EXECUTE it on the 3rd.

Here’s what one client said about the experience…

“Thanks again for leading us through the Strategic Game Plan Process for each of our Business Units with us this week; you made my job relatively easy. I think we now have a clear overall very challenging strategic plan to implement over the next 24 months, and as we both know what really matters now is the implementation and execution. I enjoyed working with you and look forward the reviewing our progress with you on a quarterly basis.” — Tom Rose, President and CEO, Layfield Group of Companies, Richmond BC

Contact me for a free consult.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 2.1.15 at 08:10 am by Roy Osing
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January 31, 2015

5 ways to turn a customer complaint into WOW!

Most responses to customer complaints merely quote company policy.

They basically say “The reason you are upset with us is you don’t understand our policy.

Of course, all such replies just piss the customer off even more!

When a customer is upset with an organization, they don’t want to hear about company policy since it was the policy that probably created the frenzy in the first place.

If you want to turn a complaining customer into “your bitch” do these 5 things:

1. Acknowledge their pain. They need to FEEL that they have been heard and that you actually care about their concerns.

2. Apologize for screwing them around. “I’m sorry” is the beginning of WOW!

3. State the specific action that will be taken to make things right for them. Something concrete that removes the irritant is expected. Anything short of this will make matters worse.

4. Do something extra for the customer. Remember, successful service recovery demands that you “fix it and do the unexpected”.

5. Act fast. Time is of the essence here. You have literally 24 hours to deal with the issue. Any longer will remove any possibility of redeeming yourself.

Did I say DON’T QUOTE COMPANY POLICY? They don’t care…

Cheers, Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

January 26, 2015

It’s about time we had Customer of the Month awards

Many organizations have Employee of the Month awards.

I have no issue with employee recognition; it’s important to shout out those people who go the extra mile and make a solid contribution over time.

But what about customers who go the extra mile? Those who go above and beyond the call to help the organization carry on business successfully?

Don’t they deserve special recognition?

I’m not talking about customer appreciation events that cater to the masses and serve little but to quench the thirst of looky-loos.

I’m referring to individual recognition just like employees are afforded.

Do the same for customers.

Mr Smith of 110 Cedar Drive, Boston, Massachusetts deserves customer of the month if he excelled in delivering benefits to your organization. It may be new sales revenue, a testimonial to your service or it could be referrals.

It doesn’t matter.

Set out the criteria and make a BIG splash about honouring the special people who contribute to your well being.

In fact how about taking it one step further and celebrate employee-customer duos who create magic together?

Sorry, too over the top?

I’ve been know to go there…


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 1.26.15 at 04:14 am by Roy Osing
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January 19, 2015

6 Lessons learned from Target’s decision to bail out of Canada

Recently, Target announced they were closing all of their 133 stores in Canada after a mere 2 years of operation and $2 billion in losses.

Here are 6 lessons you can learn from their meltdown north of the 49th:

1. When you decide to expand your operations into a new market, make sure you clearly understand customer expectations. Target assumed the average (no such thing by the way) Canadian consumer was the same as their U.S. counterpart. Not so. Canadians expected prices comparable to what they could find in Target U.S. and we’re sorely disappointed.

2. Deliver an enjoyable buying experience. The stores I visited (rarely) reminded me of a hospital. They were stark and cold with no personality. They didn’t invite people to shop. They had ZERO ambience. You might get people in once for curiosity, but they won’t be back.

3. Give your customers choice. Target stores were devoid of adequate product selection, certainly less than their U.S. outlets. This was a HUGE disappointment for people who were used to shopping in the U.S. and who were familiar with the products they carried.

4. Get your fulfillment processes right. Target Canada had problems filling their shelves. They were always out of stock. If you can’t deliver in a timely manner don’t expect consumers to understand and patiently wait for you to get your act together.

5. Don’t expect a business model that works in one market will work in another. Target assumed they could apply their U.S. operating model to Canada. Not only are their consumer differences, the competitive landscapes are as well. I suspect there was little attention given to how Target could differentiate themselves from other Canadian retailers; how they could stand-out from the herd.

6. Be socially responsible. Target terminated 20,000 Zeller employees before hiring new staff when they opened their new stores. This was viewed as a draconian move and not consistent with “the way we did things in Canada”. With this act, they were off on the wrong foot.

Heads up Nordstrom’s…


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 1.19.15 at 04:52 am by Roy Osing
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