The Trade Show Dilemma
Many years ago, I had a client whose business put on trade shows that brought together buyers and suppliers from the travel industry. He put on these trade shows all over the world. He was a very charming man and always attended the trade shows. His role was to smooth over all the things that went wrong. He had good relationships with the vendors and suppliers but unfortunately, there were always problems at these shows and charm alone was not enough to make things right. Those problems put a strain on the owner that trickled down to his employees.
Putting on a trade show has a lot of moving parts. My client’s employees were very loyal to the business owner and did their best to produce successful trade shows. But inevitably, a number of things would go wrong no matter how well-intentioned his team was. He would get angry at them for those mistakes, not understanding why the mistakes kept happening over the years. His employees loved the owner and tolerated his anger, not knowing what to do to make it better.
The System Solution
When we began working together, I became aware of this situation and was determined to come up with a solution for him that would eliminate most of the mistakes. We took a look at the kind of employee training and support that was available to his team as they came on board and learned how to navigate the intricacies of the world of trade shows and the specifics of their roles in Pre-Show Preparation and Trade Show Implementation.
The bad news was that there wasn’t much in writing to guide the employees to be successful in the Trade Show Prep and Implementation. And as it turned out there were many steps with a lot of detail; too many steps and too much detail to expect any one employee to just simply ‘remember.’ The good news was that we began to build the systems that would provide the necessary clarity, support and step-by-step guidance that would greatly reduce the mistakes.
The employees wanted to succeed. But the owner hadn’t provided the right tools and training to accomplish this goal. The reason this was good news is that the owner was able to easily remedy this situation by building the Trade Show System with step-by-step instructions and the standards to be met.
Once we built the Trade Show System, it became painfully obvious to the owner what had been missing and why those missing pieces caused so many frustrations at the Trade Shows. It was shocking, but incredibly helpful for the owner to realize that the solution was within reach.
They Don’t Need Me Anymore
Once we built the Trade Show System and trained his staff, the Trade Shows began to run very smoothly. One day, I got a call from my client who said, “They don’t need me anymore.” He had been the glue that held everything together at those Trade Shows. When the systems were put in place, the employees had something to fall back on to ensure success. That freed the owner to pay attention to his own goals.
The owner had been running the business for decades but felt he couldn’t retire for fear of everything falling apart at the Trade Shows. But what he really wanted was to enjoy time on his sailboat with his family. That day he called to tell me he was no longer needed to fix things at the Trade Shows, he was calling me from his boat.
This Case Study chronicles a typical scenario in business. Many business owners pay a price for being the glue that holds their business together. Systems are a big part of the solution to that dilemma. The other key piece is a good management system that helps managers get reliable results through their teams.
Systems can free you and produce the results you want through other people. Call Janice @707-326-5681 to identify the missing pieces in your business that will give you the freedom you want sooner rather than later!