Are You "Same Way Sal"?
Same Way Sal is a persona created to help highlight issues which can arise when a business becomes stagnant. Below is a mock interview with this persona to help give a better understanding of who Same Way Sal is.
Hi Sal, thank you for sitting down with me to do this interview. I have a some questions to help my audience get to know you better.
How long have you been in this line of work?
“I started working for my father but in the 80s”
So you have been doing it ever since.
“Yep, after a while I branched out on my own and have been manufacturing things in my shop ever since.”
Where do you see the company heading in 5 to 10 year?
“I’ve never been much of a planner but I hope to sell the business eventually and use the money to retire.”
What do you think the impact of automation will be on your company in the next couple of year?
“We have been making things the same way ever since I started Sal’s Fabrication, Co. We have no plans of automating the process.”
How do you keep track of orders and invoice your customers?
“I keep track of the orders in my head and haven’t missed one yet. Our smaller clients pay when they pick up. My wife sends out invoices to our bigger clients when we are low on cash.”
Do you have a bookkeeper or a CPA to keep track of your expenses and income?
“My wife would be the bookkeeper she uses Quickbooks. I set her up with a computer years ago.”
Have you ever thought about moving to the cloud?
“No, I don’t trust other companies with my information and I hear the cloud isn’t very secure.”
Who does payroll for you?
“My wife and I cut checks to pay bills and the employees.”
How do you tell if your company has been doing well? What metrics do you track?
“I’m not sure what a metric is but at the end of the day if we have cash in the bank we are doing well.”
Tell me about the best year your business has had?
“Well couple years back we landed this big client. It was a couple million dollar contract. That was probably the best year.”
What was the worst year you have had?
“ Not sure what the worst year I had was but a couple years ago we had to lay off most of our employees during the slow season because the company was low on cash”
How much do you get paid doing what you do?
“I don’t have a set salary I just cut myself a check when I need one.”
Sal thanks for sitting down with me and answering my questions. I’m sure my readers will enjoy it.
Same Way Sal is a great example of how what you don’t know can hurt you. Here are the key issues
Without a specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely goals (SMART goals) how do you measures success.
If you don’t have a good system to track your customers how do you know if
If you are serving them well?
If you have missed opportunities?
If they are worth the cost?
What your actual margins per job and customer?
If you don’t have a good handle on accounts receivable you're giving money away
There's a principle called the time value of money. Simply put a dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow.
Just because you have an accounting solution doesn’t mean it is providing value
The Cloud can offer things your business couldn’t afford if it did it on its own.
How long does it take to cut and mail checks. A stamp maybe cheap but you time isn’t.
One big client doesn’t make for a good year.
In the following weeks I will try to help you discover if you have any of these same issues and if so what can you do about it.