Whether it’s Baseball or Business, it’s All About the Numbers

Take me out to the ballgame; take me out to the crowd.

Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks; I don’t care if I ever get back.

What a beautiful stanza to a gorgeous song that represents all that is right with this world. Baseball. The greatest game ever played, especially if you are in business.

I can already see the bevy of comments that will hit me on this post about my obsession, and specifically why I chose to write an article like this at this time, so at least I’m prepared. Yes, I just attended an entire series at Safeco Field in Seattle, though for the sake of my current city popularity, I will decline to admit my favorite team. The first comment to guess correctly wins a prize that will be revealed at the end of this post.

While attending these baseball games, one cannot avoid being smacked in the face at a seemingly constant stream of statistics. “In June 2010, Felix Hernandez won the American League Pitcher of the Month Award for his flawless portrayal of Felix the Cat in the local theater’s rendition of Rent 3D: Alley Cat. This was his 5th AL PoM Award in 6 possible months.” Obviously that means he had a good year. You know he did well because NUMBERS DON’T LIE, at least not like your Uncle Herbert.

So what? Who cares that I can make up odd baseball and pop culture connections? Here’s why: it’s all about the numbers. If you need to know how many baseballs you need to sell in order to keep your store open, you must rely on the numbers. Take a look at this – did you know that the average operating budget for a Major League team was $84 million dollars in 2009? The Seattle Mariners’ budget was at $98 million. Their average ticket price was $30. So how many seats did they need to sell to cover their expenses? Knowing they play 82 home games, the equation becomes simple:

(# of tickets sold x $30) x 82 games = ticket income If ticket income had to match operating expenses, the equation would look like this: 98,000,000 / 82 = 1,195,122 (income needed per game) / 30 = 39,837 (seats that must be filled)

Safeco Field has a seating capacity of 47,878 for baseball games. That means Safeco would have to be at least 83% full each home game to make budget. In 2009 (according to ESPN), Seattle averaged 27,116 tickets sold per game. Going back to the original equation, that means Seattle pulled in $66,705,360 in ticket income in 2009. Put that into the next equation: income – expenses = profit. $66,705,360 – $98,000,000 = $-31,294,640

OUCH! It’s a good thing they have other ways of generating income. Do you? Do you know what your income needs are and where they are coming from? The moral of the story is this: numbers are cold, hard, and factual. They will tell you the real story of your business in a way that would make J.K. Rowling look like your Uncle Herbert. Use them, do not be afraid of them, hate them, but above all trust them. The best businesses know it’s all about the numbers.

And, by the way, the prize is a cup of coffee and a pleasant conversation.

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Conquering the Unconquerable | Hunting Grizzlies in the Marketplace

Originally posted at Pro/Vision Coaching.

I have never personally met a grizzly bear, and I doubt it would work out well for me if I did. They tend to have big teeth and sharp claws, not to mention being the size of a mid-size sedan. Yet, there is an awe that surrounds even the discussion of their existence. Raw power; rarity; above-average intelligence – these are all characteristics of this seemingly un-tame-able creature with a penchant for salmon. Other than making a series of odd, pop-culture jokes, where is the point in writing about Winnie the Pooh’s nastier cousin? Simple: everyone is afraid of them, yet everyone wants to catch at least one.

Many Native American tribes viewed the grizzly as a god; Timothy Treadwell looked on them as brothers (ultimately a Cain and Able type brotherhood). Despite all the mystique and wonder surrounding the bear and our North American heritage, one thing is for sure: they were at one point the final hurdle in man’s climb atop the food chain. No matter how large, dangerous, fast, or angry a grizzly could be, man still saw them as a prize to be subdued and conquered. Historically, hunted grizzlies were used for many reasons such as food, clothing, jewelry and even dance rituals. Today hunting a grizzly is really only for a show of manhood (similar to the guy who tries to show off in his outlandishly expensive sports car). Overcompensate much?

We can’t stop though. There is just something captivating about conquering the unconquerable. There are very few Grizzly Adams left in the world—most of them have transformed into Gordon Gekko. Business has become the new frontier, and the frontiersmen of this new world are entrepreneurs. With each new business that opens its doors, it paves a way for countless others to live up to their ancestors and hunt the grizzly. What, though, is the grizzly in today’s world?

Since I’ve never seen anyone in a business suit fully armed and tracking a bear in the forest, I’m proposing that the perfect customer for your business is the grizzly bear. The grizzly is that one customer, who, if you could replicate them, would keep you fat and happy until the end of time replicating and upselling themselves automatically. The problem is, though, that they are not easy to find or to conquer. It may take a lot of effort, or a lot of marketing and sales strength to get the job done. You may have to go the extra mile and “walk a mile in their shoes” while giving them your cloak as well.

Have you conquered that frontier? Can you picture that perfect customer in your head, or do you even know what they look like? While it is technically possible to wander around in a forest and accidentally run into a grizzly, chances are you stand little chance of success in your hunt unless you do a little background work. For example, don’t go looking for grizzlies in Ocala National Forest (if you don’t know where that is, that’s why you need to do some research). And how many grizzlies do you want/need? Hunting the grizzly can be a dangerous, but rewarding (and very profitable) experience.

Pro/Vision Coaching VP Phil Stalnaker Relocating to Seattle for Academy Launch

Originally posted at Pro/Vision Coaching.

OMAHA, NE, 6/1/2011 – Pro/Vision Coaching is making a major push forward in its company growth by expanding its services in the Seattle Metro area. Starting June 1, Phil Stalnaker will not only lead the marketing efforts, but utilize his coaching certification to facilitate the launch of the Pro/Vision Academy.

In addition to our regular one-on-one business coaching programs, Pro/Vision Coaching is launching a business academy in the Seattle Metro, based on the needs of the business owners in that area. The Academy offers programs ranging from support groups and book clubs, business courses, workshops, and even mastermind groups for like-minded owners and their key employees.  “The Pro/Vision Academy is an unprecedented change to the business coaching industry, and with its launch in Seattle, we need to make sure it is properly staffed and equipped.” commented Doug Christy, Pro/Vision Coaching’s co-owner. Working with Phil on the Academy is Paul Hajek, a successful life-long entrepreneur and business coach since 2005.

“This is the adventurous part of my corporate responsibility, helping institute the Pro/Vision Coaching model to the geographic locations within the Christy’s vision.” said Phil Stalnaker. Honing in on a way to develop business owners into successful entrepreneurs even before they start their first business is a key stabilizer to a shaky market economy. With the Academy, Pro/Vision will now be able to work with people in all stages of business ownership, leading to better returns and ultimately better business for all.

Why Knowing Your Target Audience Truly is the Bull’s-Eye

Originally posted at Pro/Vision Coaching.

I got into the sport of archery in high school. Led by a friend of mine, I found the sport fascinating, and I followed with stars in my eyes all the way to the store. The place I purchased it at had a full size shooting range in the back and tools to help their customers pick the right bow and accessories while trying them out. In the process of setting myself up with the perfect bow, I got into the challenge of archery, and learned that I actually had a bit of talent.

It has been a while since I regularly made it to the target range, but my love for the sport has never waned. The photo below was taken after a few recent practice rounds, and shows my grouping, and though overall it is nothing to be excited about, it was nice to see a few arrows right on top of each other.

The reason I tell you my background with archery is because of how much it has to do with successful marketing. Here are a few key lessons I have learned about marketing from my time in archery.

1. Practice is Mandatory | During my senior year of high school, all of those arrows would have been touching. The more I practice at hitting the center of the target, the more often I would succeed, and that success would come in groupings (consistently hitting the bulls-eye with each arrow). If you don’t keep at it, the ability you once had will fade away over time.

2. You Must Aim at the Center | If you only try to hit the target, your arrows will be scattered all over the target, with many missing it completely. The only way to consistently hit the bulls-eye is to “aim small, miss small” (The Patriot movie). In other words, the tighter your focus, the better your hit.

3. Know the Target and its Environment | In order for complete success, you need to know everything about your target. How big is it? Are you outside? What’s the wind going to do? How far away are you standing? Is there a vertical change between you and the target? The more you know about your target and its environment, the easier it will be to hit the center. Knowing your target also means that you know how to speak to that target, or in other words, craft that perfect message.

In the language of the business world, I am referring to your target audience. So that you can succeed with your marketing plan, you will have your best success when you treat your target audience like the bulls-eye. Who is your perfect target? What is that person’s environment? And so on…

You will find that if you follow these three rules in marketing, you will see significant growth in the number of prospects knocking down your door. You will find an engaged audience and have the right tools with which to get them interested in your product or service. Happy hunting!

Power Talk Live Profits from their Passion with Pro/Vision Coaching, Inc’s Philip Stalnaker

Originally posted at Pro/Vision Coaching.

I was once told that it is better to be poor and happy than rich and depressed. It makes perfect sense, but I have always wondered why someone couldn’t be rich and happy? And if it is possible, what is the key?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=PO9z8b3mrMo

Karen Floyd came to us a business owner who was not enjoying her trade. Unfortunately, not only was she not happy in her business, but she also wasn’t getting the revenue she needed. In the process of developing a Guerrilla Marketing program with her, we discovered that her pre-supposed target audience was not who she wanted to be around, let alone sell to. The need to sell her business amongst people who she did not feel comfortable with was causing angst and providing negative results.

As a business coach, there are few things that make me feel better then when the light comes on for a client. Karen realized through the coaching process that the target she was reaching for—even if they bought from her—was not going to get her to her goals. In order to sell to her original target, she would have only been able to sell one of her many services – the one she happened to enjoy the least.

Though it was a significant stretch for her, she decided to reformulate her services, change her target, and pick the people she wanted to sell to. Before then it was like playing a symphony, but missing the middle notes. Now she was playing the right notes, and it all came together very quickly after that.

She is now deeply rooted in her passions and loving her role as the business owner. And her joy and passions are able to bring her profit now that she knows exactly who her target is and that they want the full breadth of her services.

To learn more about Karen and her services, visit her at Power Talk Live.

Being Organized is for the Birds

Originally posted at Pro/Vision Coaching.

A crumpled piece of paper sits quietly on the floor, its jumbled words holding a message of deep significance, yet silenced by a single hasty act. My dastardly scheme is succeeding; as long as it can survive in its spot until 5 o’clock, the paper’s message will be forever destroyed at the hands of the night-time clean-up crew.

Who am I? I am disorganization, your single greatest enemy to profitability. It is my goal to keep your business down, your efforts up, and your profitability in complete disarray. I keep you from putting away your files, from cleaning up your workspace, and from systematizing your production. I work alongside my good friends distraction, hurried, and anxious. The longer you keep from paying attention to the growing pile of stuff sitting in front of you, the stronger I become, and the longer it will take to put me down.

I thrive in environments of low accountability, low visibility, and low commitment. And it doesn’t take much to get me started. All I need is for you to leave that one item un-dealt with, giving me just enough space to flex my muscles. Oh, and no one is immune. I can break into any safe or any system you put up to protect against me. Why? Because I already live inside you.

I have one weakness and one weakness only – constant vigilance. A plan that you are completely committed to that does not allow for one thing, item, or piece of information to be left out of place. You may think you are a “natural organizer” or admit to obsessive compulsive behavior – but both of those are fallacies – obsessive compulsivity may lead you to clean up a lot, but that has nothing to do with organization. Good organization is not needing to constantly clean up your desk, as it stays clean through continual acts of organization.

I’m not worried. Very rarely do I come across someone who has the will to defeat me, which is probably a good reason why many small businesses fail, they just don’t do what it takes to stay organized. And how can they? They are probably taking too long looking for stuff, too busy catching up on work they under quoted, or too frayed because they are trapped under a pile of junk.

You think you want to fly? I keep you from walking. Besides, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to fly anyway; leave that for the birds. They don’t have to be profitable.

Phil Stalnaker, VP of Business Development for Pro/Vision Coaching, Inc. Earns Certification as a Guerrilla Marketing Coach

Posted on Pro/Vision Coaching by Doug Christy.

I am proud to announce that our VP | Business Development, Phil Stalnaker, has received his certification as a Guerrilla Marketing Coach.  Certification is a lengthy 4 month process which culminates in successfully completing a written marketing campaign for our firm.  Phil chose Pro/Vision Coaching’s entry into the Greater Seattle Area market for his campaign, for which we are currently experiencing the fruits of his labor. Phil’s 4 month journey in certification tracked closely from market due diligence to grand opening of our Bellevue, Washington office.

Pro/Vision Coaching realizes the importance that a focused, low-cost marketing campaign means to our small business clients.  Most of our clients, very shortly after engagement, start their coaching journey with marketing.  The majority of our clients have relied on “word of mouth marketing” for their growth.  In today’s economic and competitive environment, they realize “word of mouth” simply isn’t enough.  Phil is now able to coach a small business owner from start to finish through a guerrilla marketing campaign.  He also lends assistance to our head business coaches with his special expertise in social media marketing, systematization and branding.

Congrats Phil on a job well done.