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Sunday, March 06, 2005

Stay on your toes - or you'll lose your shirt.

The main reason I started this blog was so that I could vent my own frustrations and hopefully everyone reading this would learn from it. So let me give you guys a good one - no matter how well you think you're doing - don't get lazy!

Look I am no different than any of you out there reading this blog. I get complacent and lazy and sometimes it takes a while to snap out of it (often I need a good kick in the butt). It only takes a day like I had on Friday to make me realize that sometimes you have to stop working harder and start working smarter. It all started with a nice simple route of about 10 locations. As time went by I picked up a couple smaller acccounts since I was driving by anyway ( so far so good ). Over the last 18 months something has happened. I lost two accounts because the chain store went out of business and two other accounts started out-sourcing so the sales were cut in half. Last week we got a call and we lost another location (that was my kick in the butt I needed). It took a while to happen but suddenly the once good route is "piss poor". I spend more time driving than I do pulling money (the locations I lost were in the center of the route - of course).

I haven't been working to get new locations for this route (I didn't feel like doing more than 10) so now I have to get 3 new locations (5 if you count the two accounts I need to dump) just to stay even with last year. Not a great position to have allowed myself to get into. Did it happen overnight? No. Could I have acted proactively to prevent this? Easily, but I got lazy.

Two lessons here: #1 Don't let success make you lazy. #2 You're going to lose accounts so make sure you have a strategy to get new ones on an ongoing basis.

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