Top 5 issues niagara niagara business club - 2015

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Top 5 issues affecting Niagara businessA report for Niagaras business community As prepared byNeil Thornton

Neil Thornton

@neilathorntonInterviewed 50 Niagara owners.What are they doing to thrive?Here are their top 5 strategies.

1. Finding and keeping the right people

2. Business development

3. Customer retention

4. Sustainability

5. Accountability


What we heardThe owners we spoke with said:

Im facing more competition than ever before.

Im being forced to compete more and more on price.

My marketing and advertising are not providing consistent returns.

Its harder to stand out and get someones attention.

I dont know whats working and what isnt. There are too many choices which ones are the right ones.

My phone has stopped ringing and my order takers need to learn how to sell.

So the question becomes, what made them stand out?

Actions you can take starting tomorrow to compete


Get the Vision off the office wall and in language and actions.


Clear expectations and aligned goals.Get everyone involved.


People understand contribution andimpact on customers


Stop talking about your products and services, and start selling value.

Action Step:

Determine how you show up in your customers mind?

How are you perceived vs. your competitors?

Action Step:

What can you deliver to your customers better than anyone else?

Action Step:

Starting today, make a conscious decision to re-connect with as many of your customers as you can.

How can you become invaluable to your customers?Action StepClient Focus Meeting1. Why do business with us?2. Why stay?3. How can we be better?

Action Step

Everyone writes out a learning and development plan for the next 12 monthsa Vision.

Action Step:

Develop accountability and stop allowing excuses.

So what do you do now? Its all about getting into action.

A high number of the owners we spoke with regretted waiting to make critical decisions about growth and people.

They felt that this caused significant harm to the speed of their recovery from the recession.

So what do you do now? 1. Begin to involve everyone in your organization in dialogue around commitment, action and accountability.

2. Stop talking about products and services and start selling value.

3. Re-connect with your existing customers today

4. Identify the leaders within your organization and give them clear roles

5. Create a culture of accountability and follow-up

Reports for Top 5 Issues Facing Ontario Businesses

Develop an Effective Training Program that Produces Results

Finding & Keeping the Best People by Design an 8 Step Process

The New Reality of Sales

Marketing for Small-Medium Size Businesses

How Small-Medium Size Companies are Using Social Media