Thank you to the 1646 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions! I hope reading 7 Questions with
helps you in your leadership.
Name: Stephen Anderson
Title: The Profit Doctor
Organisation: ACP Management Services LLC
I have helped many small companies in a wide range of industries overcome the obstacles that affected their profits, including financial managment and control; organizataional development, personnel productivity, and sales & marketing. Now I specialize on writing marketing messages for all types of businesses to increase their sales.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
Helping guide individuals to be as productive as possible. Many of these people are not open minded to the possibilities that situations offer them.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
For many years I have helped small business owners and managers think differently about the situations they face daily in their business and how to 'think outside the box' to find solutions to their struggles. I have helped individuals and small groups see the possibilities in any situation they face.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
First take care of important emails as I drink my first 2 cups of coffee and wake up. Then I focus on my writing assignments for my clients and myself to grow their and my business. Then at night I spend time with my wife and watch TV to chill out and then around midnight go to bed.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
Helping others is the best way to generate income for myself. If you teach people how to overcome their business obstacles, then they will gladly pay you for the advice.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
Magnetic Marketing by Dan S. Kennedy. It has inspired me to write excellent copy for my clients and myself to generating more sales. It also gave me lots of specific examples of how to write copy for particular jobs that gets results.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
Follow your passion, but always serve the client and finding what keeps them up at night and they are constantly stressing about in their business, and provide a solution for them, either yourself our bring in the expert that can.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
I had a client that manufactured corrugated boxes, but for only one industry, the secondary auto parts manufacturers. For one month out of the year, the major auto manufacturers shut down their production to retool the machines for the new models. This also meant that every company in that industry had low sales for one month, which included my client.
They were making about $7 mill in sales with only about $300K in profits, and a $1 million dollar line of credit (LOC) tapped out.
So, I worked with them for 2 months, 5 days a week, to fix their financial situation, train them and their managers in how to set up and manage their business based on budgets. I also fixed some of their accounting problems including revamping their financial statement so their department managers could manage their departments through the use of the new financial statements, allowing them to manage their own budgets. I also told them to pay down their line of credit as fast as possible and if they needed more cash for operations, they still could use some of the LOC monies.
Then I helped them revamp the format of their organization to be more effective Then I trained them to create more effective and motivated employees.
Once I completed that I worked on their sales and marketing. Because they were in this one industry for many years, they only had sales people finding more secondary auto parts manufacturers as clients. They really had no one that did marketing.
So after working with them for 18 months, going back once a quarter for a few days, they finally were a lot more profitable and their LOC was paid down to below $300k. I told them to go to the bank and ask for a $1.5 million loan to buy a new machine that can take their corrugated material, turn it into anything they can program into the machine and be able to print in 4 color what ever they wanted to show up on the corrugated materials. I got them to finally see that they were limiting their scope of possible customers to only the automotive industry.
I got them to think about all the industries that use corrugated boxes as well as other possibilities using corrugated materials. Have you ever walked down the aisle of a grocery store and saw a foldup display with very pretty graphics and colors holding up a product, such as cookies? Once they asked the bank for the loan, which they gave them easily. They bought the machine and were trained in it’s use.
Now they can market to ANY industry that uses corrugated boxes, which is virtually every industry. And I told them they had to hire a marketing specialist to find new markets and customers. I later found out they were making more than $16 million in sales and more than $1 million in profits with their line of credit still below $300K.