Learning New Technologies Allow You to Reach More Customers

There’s never a better time to learn than right now. You’re probably thinking of the adage, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” but that just isn’t true. And if you want to grow your customer base and reach more potential customers you need to keep educated on new technologies and ways to reach more people.

According to the United States Postal Service, the amount of direct mail marketing pieces has decreased significantly during the past decade. That doesn’t mean that mail isn’t an effective marketing tool; it simply means the technologies to deliver your messages have evolved during the past 10 years, making the methods of the delivery perhaps more efficient and timelier.

Technology is at our fingertips and accessible to us 24/7, making shopping easier than ever – it also means as a business, you need to step up your game because retail just became more competitive. Take my recent experience. The plumber took one look at our water softener – probably one of the first ever installed – and said, “it’s shot.” He quoted me an outlandish price for a new one with installation. Now, between my husband and his uncle, they’ve made quite a few enhancements to this old farmhouse we bought last fall. I looked online on my phone and found water softeners at one-third of the quoted price that the plumber gave me before he even drove out of my driveway. That is just one example of how technology helps with marketing.

Keeping up with technology will give you an edge over your competition. Develop a website or other social media platform that you can easily be traced to next time someone is searching for “livestock supplement” or “horse mineral.” Make sure your contact information is easily accessible and even start using an electronic inventory system so that the potential customer can see what you have in stock. It is a lot more desirable to drive 30 miles to a dealer when you know they have what you need in-stock.

Technology also lets you share real-time experiences and testimonials from other product users. Hearing from peers in the industry is so convincing when deciding to use a product, so whether it is one of our testimonials or your own customer you have recorded a video of and posted, be sure to share those so your customers and potential customers can learn the benefits without feeling like they are getting a “hard sell.”

Another great use for technology is as a customer service tool. Remember, it is at your customers’ fingertips continually. They can text, message, email or even call you with a question or concern and you can respond almost immediately.

Don’t overwhelm yourself with technology. Just because it exists doesn’t mean it is right for you or your business. Discover tools that are easiest for you to use and the ones that work best for the goals you are trying to accomplish. If you want to share the products you have on hand, any store promotions or educational programs or product testimonials, perhaps a web site or Facebook would be more ideal than Instagram or Snapchat.

Set aside time for technology each day. Make learning and using technology part of your daily schedule just like you do billing and inventory control. Once you become comfortable with the technology you are using, it will become second nature.

Don’t stress. Using technology should be fun, and it should make life easier on you. If you get to a roadblock, relax, take a deep breath, and try something different. Reach out for help or “google” a solution to your challenge.

Technology – it is here to stay and make our lives easier. Just like learning anything, there may be a few bumps along the way, but once you’ve mastered your new skills, you’ll be growing your customer base and reaching more potential!

Investing in Staff Development Pays Off

“The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.” This profound statement made by Henry Ford is just as true with marketing livestock nutrition products as it was in automobile manufacturing. Investing time and money into your employee’s training is vital to keeping good employees.

To you, training might seem like a no-brainer. You hire some people, train them to stock shelves, be nice to customers and run the cash register. However, there are more steps and layers to employee training that a business owner or manager need to consider. Let’s look at four key reasons to invest in staff development.

1. Reduce Turnover 

According to research, nearly 40-percent of all employees leave their job the first year because they are unhappy or dissatisfied with the training they received. That is some big turnover, and every time a company has employee turnover, dollars and time are lost in the recruiting and hiring process. The same study showed that employee turnover costs U.S. businesses about $11 billion each year.

Not only will your employees be more likely to stay with your company if you offer some type of training or development, many potential employees look at training as an added benefit. Benefits are a big deal, especially to millennials, and if you provide the opportunities to grow, those benefits will help recruit and retain employees.

2. Build Loyalty 

Employees who feel like part of the team or business are going to remain loyal to the company. They know you have invested in them, so that loyalty increases. If you equip the staff with proper product knowledge, they become “experts” and can easily discuss the benefits and differences of particular products. Cross-training employees is essential, especially in smaller businesses where just a few people do every job. Make sure your employees are just as comfortable with finalizing a sale and helping load a truck as they are discussing the differences between VitaFerm® Concept•Aid® and VitaFerm HEAT®. Plus, loyal employees are more engaged and motivated and require less supervision.

3. Promote from Within 

Did you know that it is safer and more cost efficient to promote someone to a managerial position than it is to hire from the outside? The loyal employees that you have already invested in training, and who have invested their time and knowledge into your company typically make better managers because they already understand the business and the products and services offered. There is less training needed when promoting from within, and studies show that promoting from within often saves a company about $20,000 in salary, bonuses, benefits and training costs.

4. Ensure Longevity

A lot of credit should be given to a company that has happy employees that stay with it. The longer a good, well-trained employee stays with a business, the more loyal he or she becomes to the company, and the relationships between that employee and the customers has time to grow and flourish. Employee longevity is another sign of trust between the employer and the employee, and long-time employees often give the employers more freedom. In addition, thinking back to retention, a long-term employee also saves on expenses, as it is shown to cost from $1,500 to $5,000 to recruit and hire a new employee.

Now that you know the value of employee development, what tools are available to train your employees? One resource that BioZyme® offers is the Master Dealer Program. This online training program allows dealers to learn about sales and marketing as well as the various product lines that BioZyme offers through a series of online training modules. The dealers work at their own pace to watch the videos and take short quizzes. Once a participant has completed the training, and met all the requirements, they will receive a jacket, signage for the store and a special emblem on the Dealer Locator, indicating they are indeed a Master Dealer.

Master Dealer 2.0 is just being rolled out this summer. New training videos on different topics will be available to those who have completed the first Master Dealer Training Program. A year after your Master Dealer completion, you will receive notification about the second phase, and be able to complete that to stay more current on new products and marketing trends.

And, if you are looking for other ways to train your employees, get involved with local organizations. Chances are the local cattlemen association will offer BQA training or the Chamber of Commerce might have workshops geared toward marketing and customer service. Training your employees, and yourself, pays off. Make the time and make the investment.

Why is it Important to Learn About your Customers?

Just like the first day of class, when a teacher is getting acquainted with his or her students for the next nine months, it is critical for a business owner to get to know his or her customers. And we mean really know them – not just their names and contact information. The more you know about your customer, the more you will be able to help meet their needs, provide outstanding service and build lasting relationships with loyal customers.

Getting to know your customer is all about the customer service and relationship building process. As you get to know your customers, track the information you learned about them, so you don’t forget it. It is perfectly acceptable to write the information on an index card or create a profile of them in your database, so you have the information readily available when you need it.

Take a look at this list of other important tidbits you should know about your customers to help you grow your business.

Who is your customer? 

As trivial as this might sound, it is important to find out your customers’ gender, age and occupation. This will help you relate and communicate with them. Many names are used for both genders, and you should know if Casey, Stacey, Lee or Britt is a man or woman before you make a cold call and ask for the wrong person. Knowing their age and even their birthdate can be important.

What do they do? 

It is important to know their occupation if they work off the farm or ranch, to understand their perspective. It is also important to know their livestock operation goals. Do they have a 9 to 5 job that might require you to stay open a little later, so they can pick up product? Or is their operation large enough that it merits you delivering product on a regular basis? Knowing what they do and what their operational goals are will help you better customize your services to your customers.

When and why do they buy from you?

Does a particular customer only buy product from you during the breeding season or for show livestock? Or do you have a customer who buys multiple products from you year-round? Knowing their habits and when they buy will help you know when to contact them. Contacting them at the time they want to buy a product or service you offer will greatly increase the likelihood of a sale. And matching a product to something that will directly benefit them will help your sales increase as well.

How does your customer like to buy? 

Is your customer someone who appreciates face-to-face interaction and would enjoy a ranch visit from you when you know they are likely low on product? Or is the customer a millennial who would prefer to hear from you via text or email? Know what kind of communication and sales tactic the customer likes to use best and use it. If it is a text or call, post in your calendar when you need to make that call or send that text to remind them about their next order. If they use a particular product and you are getting ready to run a Facebook promotion on it, but you know they don’t have internet, call them and let them know. You’ll probably make a sale.

What does your customer expect? 

If your customer expects timely delivery, don’t disappoint them. One mishap can lose a loyal customer. If your customer expects you to keep track of their rations for them, comply. Your customers’ expectations of you will range from minimal to over-the-top. But remember, service is what makes the sales and the repeat customers come back because of great service.

What does your customer think of you? 

If your customer likes you, your product and your services, they are likely to be repeat customers that continue to buy more from you over time. But, if they become disgruntled, they can turn away and tell all their neighbors to stop their business with you too. Ask your customers for input. This can be a confidential survey or a basic conversation. You can’t make enhancements if you don’t know what to improve.

What does your customer think of your competitors? 

The best way to stay ahead of your competition is to not follow in their footsteps. Once you have a good rapport with your customers, ask what they prefer about you to another company who offers the same goods and services.  It is always better to learn from others’ mistakes than our own.

Now that you have gotten to know your customer, the sales should become more like a conversation and less of a pitch. Building relationships and knowing your customer is key to your business’ growth and success.

August 2018 – Letters from Lisa

Continually learn

Everyone deserves to be great at what they do. That sentence sums up the need for business owners to be continually seeking information around the keys to high-performance organizations and training/developing their staff needs to support these keys.  In my career, I have found that whenever there is a challenge in a business that seems to be keeping it from being high performing, normal human nature immediately goes to the people in the equation.

At BioZyme® whenever we have a challenge (this of course does not happen often    ), I like to remind our team of how we need to think differently than this to ensure everyone gets to be great at what they do. Systems first, processes next and then people. Not people first.

Based on this approach we must first ask ourselves, do we have the systems in place to provide the information we need to support the processes that people can use to be great? If not, we need to take the time and make the investment in getting them before moving on. Amazing processes and amazing people without systems will not allow people to be great at what we do.

Once we have the systems in place, we need to ensure the processes that utilize these systems exist, have been taught and are being followed. By providing process training, you will enable one employee to pick up where another left off, keeping them all on the same page without having to provide constant help and supervision.

Now that the systems are in place and the processes exist, we can look to people. Remember that people are at fault last, not first. Don’t ever forget this if you believe that all people deserve to be great at what they do.

The importance of employee training to these systems and processes must not be underestimated. Ongoing training can be thought of as the best insurance policy against all sorts of the inevitable changes and the unforeseeable needs that will arise in these systems and processes.

Keeping focused on systems first, processes next and then people is a simple way to grow your company. People who are great at what they do will rocket you to where you want to go!

Amberley Snyder: Courage to Grow

It takes courage to grow your business; to make changes, to make progress. It also takes courage to get back in the saddle once you’ve been bucked off. But what if you weren’t really bucked off, but rather thrown from your pickup as an 18-year-old with your entire life in front of you. You’re in Wyoming, look down at your map, and after your truck stops rolling, you are setting in the ditch, next to the fence post you were thrown into that broke your back. You can’t feel your legs, and when other drivers stop to offer help you ask to borrow a phone to call your dad.

That is just the beginning of a true story of courage, and the real-life account of Amberley Snyder, this year’s keynote speaker at the BioZyme Dealer Retreat. Amberley retold of that fateful January day in 2010 when her life was literally turned upside down. The Utah State FFA officer had big plans to attend college in Oklahoma on a rodeo scholarship. She’d been a barrel racer since a very young age, and she and her horses always had a special bond. Then, she heard the words that she’d never walk again.

As in a successful business, drive, courage and goals kept Amberley focused. Her first three goals: walk, ride, rodeo. In just 18 months after that fateful day, she was back on her horse. She has successfully competed at rodeos and she is still determined with the grace of God, continued therapy and modern medicine she will walk again someday.

Amberley shared 5 important lessons with the dealers at Dealer Retreat that can be applied to both life and business.

“We don’t always get to choose what we draw out of the bag, but we do get to choose how we handle what we draw,” Amberley told the crowd as she asked three volunteers to come on stage with her and “draw” from a bag she had with her. One rugged dealer from Wyoming drew a silky, pink scarf and modeled that accessory like he sold scarves instead of VitaFerm for a living. Another drew a wooden chicken and strutted like a chicken; the third drew out a sweet Snickers candy bar and took a big bite out of it. Perhaps if each had drawn the different object out, they would have handled things differently. But life is about making the right choices for us and our businesses.

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help or accept help.” We all are better when we accept the help from those who offer it. If we can’t do something or don’t know the answer, asking doesn’t mean defeat, it just means you want to be better.

“Don’t compare your challenges or accomplishments to someone else’s.” It’s easy to fall into the comparison trap. But don’t. Think you’re having a bad day? Someone else is likely having a worse day. Everyone is fighting some kind of battle. Did you just make the biggest sale ever? Good for you! Celebrate, but stay humble.

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” Amberley knew her attitude would help determine if she would ride or rodeo again. Having a positive attitude in a negative situation made all the difference. The same can be said in business and offering the best customer service. You can have the best products on the market, but if you have a poor attitude, you probably won’t see customers lined up at your door.

“There is no future in giving up.” If you are reading this newsletter, you likely aren’t a quitter. Neither is Amberley, the only paralyzed barrel racer and break away roper on the professional circuit. Are your sales not quite what you expected this month? Have the courage to make a change. Get out and meet some new potential customers. Support the local fair. Whatever you do, never, ever give up.

Dealer Spotlight: Share What’s On Your Heart

Albert Einstein once said, “The only source of knowledge is experience.” While experience is usually a good teacher, BioZyme® Inc., wants its dealer network to have resources readily available to them to help them learn along the way.

The staff at BioZyme works to offer educational tools that will fit the needs and learning styles of its diverse group of dealers. We know that everyone is busy, and everyone absorbs information differently. That is why we offer resources like printed materials, the Online Dealer Center, webinars, the Facebook group, Area Sales Managers and office staff to assist you when it comes time to learn about products.

During the recent Dealer Retreat, dealers had the opportunity to share with each other and some of the BioZyme staff what educational tools they found most helpful and how they would like to be further assisted during a “Dealers to Dealers” session led by National Sales Director Alan Lee and Outreach Support Center Director Jennifer Miller. Survey questions were answered anonymously through a texting app that let dealers respond from their own phones and led to open discussion.

A majority of dealers did indicate that they use at least one or more of the primary forms of education available to them: their ASM, printed literature, the Online Dealer Center and BioZyme Office Support. Most ASMs do cover a large geographic area or represent a great number of dealers. In an effort to provide even more support, a dedicated call center is being rolled out this month, to help the company stay in contact with its dealers and sub dealers. Regular calls and emails will be going out to the network to ensure that the dealers have all the resources they need. Miller is heading up these efforts.

One of the best ways dealers can learn from one another is through exchange on the Message Board in the Online Dealer Center. The Message Board is an outlet to post your questions, share what has worked for you, and receive input from others in the same business.

It was agreed upon that customer testimonials and results from research trials were both useful information when sharing products with potential customers. Dealers in the sessions would like to see more region-specific testimonials. If you have a customer success stories that you would like to share with the marketing department, please contact your ASM with those success stories so they can relay information to the Marketing Team. Also, if you need specific research on a topic, check with your ASM, as he or she is a great resource.

Finally, don’t be afraid to share what has worked for you as a dealer. Share your thoughts on the BioZyme Dealer Facebook page or let us feature you in the Dealer Spotlight in VISION. Share what’s on your heart. Chances are, there is another dealer in this big network looking for a solution that you’ve already discovered. Or, if you are one of those dealers facing a challenge, reach out to another dealer. We’re in this together.

Your Marketing Journey Made Simple

As you journey down the Yellow Brick Road to Success, you’ll find many curves, paths and forks in the road. But when it comes to marketing, you’ll likely take the shortcut. Time and money – two resources that many are short on – often put marketing lower on the list of priorities. But, don’t take that shorter path just yet.

In 2017, the BioZyme® Marketing Team compared web site traffic analytics to product sales and found there is a direct correlation between web traffic and product sales. Further, they discovered that getting customers to the Dealer Locator meant more business for you, our dealers. With those findings, the Marketing Team has developed a way to simplify your social media marketing journey, saving you both time and energy, and hopefully driving your sales. Let’s take a short journey down the Promoboxx path.

The Promoboxx Social Media platform is one tool that BioZyme has started using recently to offer dealers exclusive digital content for all brands to drive awareness and sales locally, at no cost to the dealer. Because of the agreement between Promoboxx and BioZyme, only a limited amount of “partners” are allowed, so BioZyme is offering this service to VIP Dealers and Master Dealers.

Promoboxx is an application that allows BioZyme to make its content readily available for its dealer partners. Once the content is created, the partner/dealer can go into Promoboxx and schedule the content onto his or her own

social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) or post it to his or her web site. The social content will have a “local” feel, providing more relevancy to the audience. Anyone who clicks through, will go to a co-branded landing page, keeping your customers tied to you, but providing the look and feel of BioZyme’s national message.

One South Dakota dealer took what he learned during the hands-on session at Dealer Retreat and applied it immediately, sharing a Promoboxx post about Sure Champ Extreme. That same evening he had a call and an order from a new customer, all because he invested a small amount of time learning about this platform and its benefits.

“Our brands have a strong national message and it is important that when customers come into the store they are seeing that same message, so it is a seamless transition from online promotions to in-store knowledge,” said Kristi Stevens, Marketing Project Manager about the relationship with the dealer network. “It is a partnership – we know that when dealers spend time with the customer, they can provide the one-of-a-kind customer service that we can never fully achieve online.”

Sometimes, the shorter path is the more direct route, especially when you have national marketing partners that have helped you save both time and money. When you have partners in marketing that have invested time and effort into creative, why would you travel down that road again? With Promoboxx, your marketing journey just got smoother. To learn more about the benefits of Promoboxx and the eligibility requirements, contact Kristi Stevens at kstevens@biozymeinc.com or (816) 596-8795.

Don’t Let Profitability Be Wicked

As business owners, you have many goals. But your number one goal should be to be profitable. Nearly 95% of all small businesses fail in their first five years because of the lack of profit – now that is a wicked statistic.

Turning a profit doesn’t have to be wicked. With proper planning, studying the past and the willingness to make changes when needed, your business can be profitable and successful. BioZyme President, Lisa Norton, shared several key strategies for profitability during a breakout session at the Dealer Retreat.

“Profitability should be the primary goal of all businesses,” Norton said. “Measuring current and past profitability and projecting future profitability is very important.”

Before reaching profitability, a business owner must first understand profitability. Profitability is more than the income or money that comes into your business. Cash can come into the business for many reasons like money due from past invoices, services, pre-payments or financing. But pure profit is a simple calculation:

Sales, Revenue OR Income – Expenses OR Costs = PROFIT.

The five “not-so-wicked” tips Norton offered include:

1. Figure out gross profit margin

Your gross profit margin can be deceiving. Remember it is the difference of all income for goods and services and the total cost of goods sold (C.O.G.S.). Be sure to include not only the cost of the products, but packaging, labor to make the products and other costs associated with the production of the product.

2. Analyze the gross profit margin on each and everything

By analyzing every profit margin for each product, you will have a deeper understanding of the products that you sell that generate the most profit, and the ones that generate little profit or even worse, lose you money. It is best for your business to stop selling anything that is losing your business money and focus your efforts in promoting and selling the products that create the highest margin.

3. Review all your prices

Do you charge all your customers the same amount? If so, why?

Some customers might not be as price sensitive as others – think government or other bigger businesses that can spread their expenses over more numbers. Don’t feel bad about increasing prices for some of those customers. Be sure to keep up with rising prices from your supplier and to raise prices as your competition does. It’s ok to increase your prices – your business survivability depends on it. Here is an example Norton shared with the group,

“It’s true that you might lose a customer if prices are raised, but if your margin is 50 percent, a 10 percent increase in prices means you can lose 17 percent of your customers and be no worse off,” she posted in one slide. Chances are a slight price increase won’t cause you to lose 17 percent of your customers if you remember to sell the value of your products and your customer service.

4. Use an inventory system

It is vital to know what you have on hand and to use some type of system to track your inventory. If you do have inventory in stock, make sure it is displayed, because if the customers can’t see it, they won’t buy it, and they likely will move on to your competitors for another product. When getting in new inventory, remember to rotate your stock and use the FIFO system – first in, first out – because no one wants to buy an old product.

5. Think about the best way to cut up money

Now, you might think tips about profitability shouldn’t mention “cutting” money, but Norton used a great visual with play money to demonstrate how to “cut” expenses from your profit equation. Each person in the room had one dollar to spend, and they had to decide how to spend their dollar on marketing, by cutting it into sections. Would you spend half your dollar on print advertising? Cut it in half, and you have half a dollar to spend on digital efforts, radio, creative design, research, boosting social media posts. How far will that half-dollar go? Because once you spent that first half, you can’t get it back, and if you are going to be profitable, you can’t ask for another dollar.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that most people in the room, “cut” their money in different ways. That’s because everyone’s businesses are different, and everyone has different strategies to meet their goals.

Being profitable doesn’t have to be wicked at all. It can be a challenge that you face with courage and resolve. Follow these five simple steps and enjoy your journey to profitability.

Have Courage to Seize Opportunity

Every one of us has a bad day from time to time. The same is true for our livestock and companion animals. Part of being in the animal nutrition business is being able to offer potential solutions for when those bad days happen for our customers’ animals.

That’s why it’s important to keep some of the most unique products BioZyme® offers top-of-mind. The Vita Charge® line and Vitalize® Recovery Paste are some of the company’s fastest growing products and offer the highest profit margins to dealers.  And, they offer a rapid response to animals’ stress, making them a great product to showcase how effective the Amaferm® advantage is.

Due to the quick response rate of the Vita Charge line and the Vitalize Recovery Paste, they build customer confidence and open the door to more conversations about other products, that ultimately lead to bigger sales. As a dealer, you must have the courage to keep these products in stock and even offer a sample to a customer who has an animal in need. That tube of Recovery Paste or bottle of Liquid Boost® might be the best investment you make in marketing, if it leads to a loyal customer who starts buying and using more products on a consistent, year-round basis.

One example of a customer that started with one of these products is Brenton Feedyard at Grimes, Iowa. The feedyard was first exposed to the Amaferm advantage with Vita Charge® Stress Tubs in its receiving pens. The feedyard has been using the Stress Tubs for five years now, and typically puts two of the 200-pound tubs in the larger pens that hold up to 120 calves, and one 200-pound tub in the smaller receiving pens that hold 40 head.

“Some cattle blow through it a little faster, and we think it’s because they need it more. Some hardly go after it at all. It works great for us,” said Devon Keller, manager at Brenton Feedyard. “The Amaferm product has worked really well for us. We started with the tubs and felt like we saw a really big response from them. And now we actually feed the Digest More pellets – we double the rate for the first 30 days when receiving cattle.”

Although the calves only get Amaferm for the first 30 days at the feedyard, Keller said it has helped the calves get started on the right foot. They are overall healthier, and he says they treat on average, 50% fewer calves – a big labor savings for an outfit that feeds 3,000 head, farms 2,000 acres and only has three employees.

“When we get more Amaferm into the gut, we are getting more health into the gut. Some of the cattle are in rough condition when we receive them and just learning to eat. Most cattle that don’t go to the bunk will still go to the tub, and that’s what we like about the Stress Tubs,” Keller said.

Keller is just one example of a customer who learned about Amaferm and keeping the gut healthy, thanks to the Vita Charge Tubs. Now, he is a believer, who keeps ordering more product.

One of the greatest things about Vita Charge, is it can be used across species. The various applications for each production scenario, along with the rapid response make it a great “starter” product or door opener.

Be courageous. Offer a solution for a stressed animal and watch your customer list grow.

June/July 2018 – Letters from Lisa

Courage to Grow

The theme of our recent Dealer Retreat was the Wizard of Oz – Courage to Grow. I know what you are thinking, how can a 1939 movie classic be the business tale of 2018? The answer is found in the five points that are the key take-aways, if you choose to follow the yellow brick road all the way to the Emerald City.

Embrace and value the journey

In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and her friends embark on an incredible journey. As a business owner, you are also on an incredible journey. The challenges and victories on the journey are a part of your story, tell it every chance you get. The reason for this is that stories stick with people and have an impact on how they perceive the brand, your culture and whether they want to be a part of your journey.

Realize that things aren’t always what they seem

Dorothy and her friends are stunned when they discover that the Wizard was far from the powerful figure that they had expected him to be. Likewise, the stumbling blocks that your business faces may not be what you think they are. Solutions to business challenges seldom lie in looking at them through the same lens as you have always done. Innovation, creativity, and fundamental changes (yes you might need to change) may be necessary for your business to grow. Those things that seem to be great challenges may not be what they seem when approached in a new way with a fresh perspective.

Don’t be cowardly

Success in business comes from being courageous not cowardly like the lion. One must be courageous enough to search for new opportunities, even if it means a big departure from how you have done business in the past. In business, we are unfortunately, occasionally, subjected to naysayers – people who don’t get us, try to bring our spirit down, and bring us back to “reality.” It isn’t easy to find the courage to overcome all of this, but the alternative is to manage from fear. Fear destroys one’s opportunity for growth. Courage is one of the most important assets to have in a business.

Have a heart

The Tin Man lacked a heart, which is another way of saying that he lacked the energy, emotion and inspiration to lead his life in the way that he wanted. Business is all about energy and it flows down. As a leader, you must find a way to build a culture that engages people with energetic enthusiasm. Employees who feel heard, valued and respected work with much more enthusiasm and energy than those who don’t. They are also more likely to stick around because they love where they work.

Embrace the fact that brainpower matters

Take it from the Scarecrow – it takes work to become smarter. Developing the brains to drive change in your business means committing to continually upgrading your own skills. As a business leader, developing new perspectives, awareness, and resources through coaching, training, and leadership development can help.

So, think yellow brick road, then embrace the journey. Along the path, do not be afraid to challenge yourself to look at your business in new ways. Innovative growth and positive change only come to those who have the skills, energy, and courage to improve themselves and do things differently. As business owners we are constantly going through peaks and valleys – having our good days and bad ones. And with every one of these, there’s a new witch along the road. Decide if you will let the witch be wicked or be Glinda the witch of opportunity.