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This month, we are sharing another blog post from Eric Knam with ActionCOACH Tulsa. Eric is a certified business coach providing business help, advice, and mentoring services to small and medium-sized businesses. We’ve watched many of our business colleagues move from working IN their business to working ON their business, enjoying the perks of being the boss as a result of partnering with Eric.

Keep reading to learn more about how to start working ON your business instead of IN your business!

How to Work ON Your Business vs. IN Your Business | Action COACH

Michael E. Gerber, the author of “The E Myth” series and business expert once said, “If your business depends on you, you don’t own a business – you have a job. And it’s the worst job in the world because you’re working for a lunatic!

Running your own business can be one of the most rewarding and frustrating experiences there is! The good news is that there are ways to decrease the frustration and increase the reward, you just need to be willing to stop doing everything yourself and take control of your time.

Giving up control can be a scary concept for many business owners. They have been so involved in the growth of their enterprise for so long, that they end up thinking that nobody else has the skills or abilities to do things as well as they can. As a result, they keep ]themselves in the position of the employee instead of taking on the role of owner.

The fatal flaw here is that they spend so much time focusing on the $12 an hour work (employee work), that they don’t have the time to focus on the $500 an hour work (owner work). Put another way, they get caught in the cycle of working IN their business instead of working ON their business.

Don’t think this is a fatal flaw? Consider this, “66% of businesses make it to the 2-year mark and just 30% make it to the 10-year mark. One of the main reasons for this is because very few owners spend the required 20% of time working on their business and this contributes to businesses failing.” (gamechanger, 2019).

So, how can you break the cycle? How can you ensure, as a business owner, that you have the time to develop your business?

Establish Boundaries

Start by establishing boundaries. It’s ok to say “no” to the things that don’t bring you or your business value. Just because it’s a priority to someone else doesn’t mean that you need to be involved. Next, take control of your day instead of letting your day take control of you. You’ll want to do a couple of things here.

First, make a list of all the things you do on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Now take a hard look at your list and ask yourself these questions:

  • If I were to prioritize this from levels A-C, what would it be?
  • Is it necessary?
  • Do I enjoy this task?
  • Is there someone else who can do it?
  • Is it possible to automate this process?


After you are done, determine the things you will automate, delegate, and eliminate. Then do it. It might be scary to hand things off to your staff. Just remember, they aren’t perfect, and neither are you. With a little training, clear expectations, and some coaching they’ll get better and better at the things you’ve given them to do. Who knows, they may even get better at it than you!

Get Control of Your Time

Now you can focus on getting control of your time. Using a “Default Calendar” is a great way to do this. The purpose here is to identify specific times during the week for key tasks that could not be automated, given to someone else, or scrapped. As an example, some of those tasks might include marketing your business and reviewing your financials.

Instead of hoping that you have the time to work on these very important items, schedule time weekly to ensure they are addressed. You may designate Monday afternoons from 1-4 pm as “Marketing Monday”. During this time, work on all the marketing activities that need to be addressed for the week.

If you get something related to marketing on a Wednesday, it gets added to the list of things to address during your 1-4 pm time block next Monday. Perhaps you need to send out invoices, review your P&L and balance your checkbook. 8-11 am on Friday mornings could be a great time for “Finance Friday”.

Once your priorities are blocked on your calendar, there should be very few things that keep them from taking place. Make sure your staff and family know that you will be unavailable during these times. Close your door or leave the building. Turn off your phone, forward your calls to someone in the office, or put it on “Do Not Disturb”. That way, you can focus on what needs to be done without distractions.

You may need to “tweak” your calendar to maximize your efficiency and it will take some discipline to stick to it. Once you take control of your day, you’ll be amazed at how much time you really have. What a great opportunity to schedule some time to work ON your business!

Working On Your Business vs. In Your Business

If you are wondering what the difference is when it comes to working ON your business vs.
IN your business, here are some examples:

Working IN Your Business

  • Making things
  • Delivering things
  • Administrative stuff
  • Paying invoices
  • Dealing with conflict
  • Phone calls
  • E-mails

Working ON Your Business

  • Personal development & education
  • Strategic planning
  • Goal setting
  • Financial projections & forecasting
  • Creating strategic alliances
  • Establishing & implementing systems and processes
  • Setting your strategic vision


Your business should give you the life you desire, not become your life. Taking the time to automate, delegate, and eliminate your non-essential tasks will free up your time so you can work ON your business. Once that happens, you’ll be amazed at how rewarding owning a business really can be.

This month, we are sharing another blog post from Eric Knam with ActionCOACH Tulsa. Eric is a certified business coach providing business help, advice, and mentoring services to small and medium-sized businesses. We’ve watched many of our business colleagues move from working IN their business to working ON their business, enjoying the perks of being the boss as a result of partnering with Eric.

Keep reading to learn more about how some of the most boring aspects of business ownership are often the most profitable!

Boring is Profitable

Let’s face it, facts and data are not the most exciting things you deal with as a business owner. Very few of us like to crunch the numbers and those who hate it will often find any excuse to avoid doing so. The problem is, that when you ignore the numbers, it impacts your ability to make good decisions.

Having access to accurate and up-to-date data is critical for those who want to grow their business. Without knowing your trends, it’s very difficult to determine marketing strategies, identify and recognize top performers, and make quick adjustments to your action plans. There are so many different numbers you can track that it’s hard to know where to begin.

Knowing your financial metrics and data has got to be your starting point. Just because you had a big sale or your best revenue month ever, it doesn’t mean there will be money in the bank at the end of the month!

Here are some key numbers you should know as a business owner:

  • How much money did the business make? (TOTAL REVENUE)
  • How much money did we spend? (TOTAL EXPENSES)
  • When all was said and done, how much money was left? (PROFIT)
  • What percent of sales is profit? (PROFIT MARGIN)
  • Cash on Hand or Cashflow
  • Equity
  • Debt and Debt Ratio
  • Tax Rate
  • Account Receivables and Payables
  • Total Inventory
  • Net Income


Depending on the needs or nature of your business, you may need to look at many of these numbers on a daily or weekly basis. At a minimum, you should review them monthly.

If you struggle with your financial numbers or put off updating them, get help now! There are plenty of qualified accountants and bookkeepers who would be more than happy to help you. A word to the wise here, don’t skimp on this service. The “low-cost option” bookkeeper or accountant usually isn’t the best route to take. I’ve heard multiple stories from business owners who spent a lot of money to get their books fixed because the “good deal” they got on bookkeeping was too good to be true.

Knowing Your Online Metrics

If you have a website, social media, and other digital marketing (in this day and age, you should), you’ll need to know your online metrics as well. Being aware of the following metrics will help you identify opportunities, increase the awareness of your brand, and adjust or maintain the course your marketing takes.

  • Website Unique Visitors
  • Website Bounce Rate
  • Time Spent on Website
  • Number of Sessions for Unique Visitors
  • Pages on your Site with the Most Activity
  • Social Media Engagement/Reach
  • New and Existing Followers
  • Likes, Shares, Comments on Posts (Engagement)
  • Video Views
  • Which Posts had the Most Engagement


A business without any customers isn’t much of a business, so it’s really important to track the activities you are using to generate leads. Knowing what strategies are working and which ones don’t allow you to maximize your spending on the activities that are driving people to you. Make sure you are regularly checking the following numbers:

  • Number of Qualified Leads
  • Source of Qualified Leads
  • How Much Each Qualified Lead Cost You
  • The Percent of Qualified Leads That Become Your Customer


Once you have a new customer, you must keep them. Happy customers come back, and they tell their friends about your business! Some customer experience indicators you should track are:

  • Customer Retention or Repeat Visits
  • Average Sale
  • Number of Transactions
  • Number of Items Purchased per Visit
  • Lifetime Value of a Customer
  • Customer Count Per Day/Week/Month
  • Number of Five-Star Reviews
  • Net Promoter Score


The 5-Ways Formula

Here’s the really cool part. When you know these numbers, you can use them to increase your revenues and your bottom line!
At ActionCOACH, we like to plug them into a formula we call the 5-WAYS. It allows you to use this data to set specific strategies, using your data to make more money…see, boring is profitable!

The 5-WAYS formula is:

Number of LEADs x Conversion Rate = Number of Customers
Number of Customers x Average Dollar Sale x Average Number of Transactions = Revenues
Revenues x Profit Margins = $ Profits

The interesting thing about this formula is that the Number of Customers, Revenues and Profits aren’t the most important focus, they are the results from the other numbers. The areas that really make the difference are your number of leads, average sales, number of transactions, conversion rate, and profit margin. 

If you’d like some specific and effective strategies you can use to significantly improve your business’ profitability and growth, check out this easy-to-use chart: AC-19-5 Ways Handout-US-E

Knowing the important numbers for your business gives you a leg up on your competition. Anytime you hear someone call you boring because you track your data, you can just smile…all the way to the bank!

This month, we are sharing another blog post from Eric Knam with ActionCOACH Tulsa. Eric is a certified business coach providing business help, advice, and mentoring services to small and medium-sized businesses. We’ve watched many of our business colleagues move from working IN their business to working ON their business, enjoying the perks of being the boss as a result of partnering with Eric.

Keep reading to learn more about who is your biggest critic!

Who is Your Biggest Critic? | Action COACH

There’s a classic Saturday Night Live skit called Daily Affirmation. It stars Al Frankin as Stuart Smalley, a man who is trying to better himself through positive self-talk. In each skit, Stuart gazes at himself in the mirror and tells his reflection “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And doggone, people like me.
The skits were humorous, sometimes even hilarious. What many of us don’t realize is that Stuart was onto something. What we say to ourselves, about ourselves when we are by ourselves has a significant impact on who we are and how we behave.
Don’t just take my word for it, let’s look at a couple of examples from Stuart himself: I don’t know what I’m doing. They’re gonna cancel the show. I’m gonna die homeless and penniless and twenty pounds overweight and no one will ever love me.” – Stewart Smalley
I deserve good things. I am entitled to my share of happiness. I refuse to beat myself up. I am an attractive person. I am fun to be with.” – Stewart Smalley
There’s a huge difference in the messages Stewart is sending himself in the examples above. That little voice in our heads can be our worst enemy, or we can train it to become our greatest asset. You see, negative self-talk is a destructive force that tears us down from within and keeps us from achieving our potential.

The Benefits of Positive Self-Talk

Positive self-talk, on the other hand, can have a huge impact on our self-confidence and how we react in different situations. In her article “6 Ways To Practice Positive Self-Talk Without Feeling Like You’re Straight-Up Lying to Yourself” on wellandgood.com, Jessica Estrada outlines several of the benefits that are associated with positive self-talk.
  1. New perspective during difficult or times of crisis
  2. Improved relationships
  3. Increased confidence
  4. Reduction of loneliness


Changing what you say to yourself, about yourself when you are by yourself isn’t easy and it takes some work. Let’s face it, you’re dealing with years of listening to the same “recording” playing over and over in your head. Changing the “soundtrack” is going to take some time.

To help with the transition, Estrada recommends the following:

  1. Make sure your self-talk is authentic and true
  2. Change your behavior
  3. Start in one area with positive self-talk
  4. Collect data not judgment
  5. Question your thoughts
  6. Work with a professional


To some, this may sound like a bunch of psychobabble gobbledygook. As someone who has dealt with the challenge of negative self-talk, I can assure you it’s not. For the last year and a half, I’ve been working with a thought coach and it has been a game-changer!

My self-confidence has improved. I am now more in touch with the negative thoughts that keep me from becoming the person I want to be. When I hear that old, worn-out record starting to play in my head, I take the time to ask myself if “how I’m thinking, feeling, or acting” supports me becoming the person I desire to be?

If it doesn’t, I have a choice. I can continue to listen, to sing along, or I can change the station.

This month, we are sharing another blog post from Eric Knam with ActionCOACH Tulsa. Eric is a certified business coach providing business help, advice, and mentoring services to small and medium-sized businesses. We’ve watched many of our business colleagues move from working IN their business to working ON their business, enjoying the perks of being the boss as a result of partnering with Eric.

Keep reading to learn more about the best time to sell your business!

When Is The Best Time to Sell Your Business? | Action COACH

Imagine for a moment that you are a successful CEO. You are in your fifties and run a heating and air company that generates eight million dollars in revenue and more than one million dollars in profit before tax.

Despite the fact that you are obviously tired and headed full speed into burnout, you’ve decided that you want to wait another five to seven years before you sell the business so you can “sell at the peak of the next economic cycle”.

At face value, this thought process seems to make sense. If you ask a professional in mergers and acquisitions, they will tell you that an economic cycle can impact valuations by up to “two turns”. That means a business selling for five times earnings at the top of an economic cycle may go for as low as three times earnings during a low point.

Here’s the problem with that. When you sell your business, you must do something with the money you receive. Usually, that means buying into another asset class that is being similarly impacted by the same economy.

As an example, let’s pretend that in the early 2000’s you had a business generating $100,000 in pre-tax profit. Your industry typically trades between three times earnings and five times earnings, depending on where things are in the economic cycle.

Now, let’s assume, you waited patiently on the sideline until the economy peaked, then sold your business for $500,000 (five times your pre-tax profit) in October 2007. You took your $500,000 and bought into a Dow Jones index fund when it was trading above 14,000.

Eighteen months later – after the Dow Jones had dropped to 6,547.05 – you were left with less than half of your money.

Even though you timed things perfectly, by waiting for the economic peak, by March 9, 2009, you would have effectively sold your business for less than 2.5 times earnings.

The flip side of this scenario is also true. Let’s imagine you “waited too long” and ended up selling the same business in March 2009. Since the sale occurred during the lowest possible point in the economic cycle, you only got three times earnings: $300,000.

That doesn’t seem like a very good deal, does it? Believe it or not, this is actually a better scenario than the one above because you were able to realize 20% more in profits than if you’d sold at the peak and bought an index fund at the top of the market.

It’s no different than selling your house when the real estate market is booming. Unless you are planning to downsize, you’ll be taking your profits and putting them into the same thriving market. This explains why trying to time the sale of your business on external economic cycles is usually a waste of your time and energy.

External vs. Internal Economic Cycles

Here’s another way to look at the timing of selling your business. Consider the internal economic factors of your business: employees are happy, revenue and profits are on an upward trend, there is still a lot of market share for an acquirer to capture.

Are they all pointing in the right direction? If so, this could be the perfect time to look at selling your business. Why? When internal economic factors are pointing up, your business has a better chance of fetching you a price at the top end of what the market is paying for similar businesses.

This means that, for good or bad, you’ll have additional newfound cash that you can use to buy into the same economic market you’re selling out of.

This month, we are sharing another blog post from Eric Knam with ActionCOACH Tulsa. Eric is a certified business coach providing business help, advice, and mentoring services to small and medium-sized businesses. We’ve watched many of our business colleagues move from working IN their business to working ON their business, enjoying the perks of being the boss as a result of partnering with Eric.

Keep reading to learn more about how to keep your customers using critical non-essentials!

Looking for Ways to Keep Your Customers? Try Using Critical Non-Essentials | Action COACH

As business owners, we tend to put a lot of time, effort, and money into attracting new customers. Unfortunately, we don’t always do the same when it comes to keeping the ones we already have. Every day, your clients are inundated with more and more options when it comes to where they can spend their money. That’s why it’s so important to build meaningful relationships with them. If they don’t feel appreciated and valued, what’s to keep them from taking their business somewhere else?

When a customer leaves your business, the impact isn’t just short-term. “Loyal customers generate more revenue each year they stay with a company. Statistics indicate that a 5% increase in customer retention increases profits by 25% – 95%” (Markinblog.com, 2021).

The reason is simple. Your current customers are way more likely to buy from you again. “The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, while the probability of selling to a new prospect is only 5% to 20%” (Markinblog.com, 2021).

The situation gets even uglier when you realize that getting those new prospects isn’t easy, or inexpensive. “It costs up to 7x more to acquire a new customer than to retain an old one” (Markinblog.com, 2021).

So what can you do to build relationships and make your clients feel valued? The answer is Critical Non-Essentials or CNEs.

What Are Critical Non-Essentials?

So, what’s a CNE? It’s a gesture you make that shows your clients that they are more than just a piggybank to you. Critical Non-Essentials help you show appreciation and build long-term relationships and can range from simple to elaborate.

Some examples of CNEs include:

  • Birthday cards
  • Handwritten notes to recognize a milestone in their lives/business or just say “thanks”
  • Bottles of wine
  • Beer or chocolate of the month club memberships
  • Gift baskets
  • Gourmet meals for the client and their spouse
  • Tickets to sporting events, concerts, or the theater
  • Client appreciation events


Each time you recognize a customer with a CNE, you make a deposit into their “emotional bank account”. Each deposit shows them that they are important to you and increases the likelihood that you and your business will remain important to them. If you don’t have a large budget for CNEs, that’s ok.

Small, creative gestures can go a long way, especially when they are genuine and well thought out. Remember, it’s all about making your client feel special and appreciated.

If your organization isn’t already doing so, it would be a good idea to capture relevant and important information from your clients. Once you have it, create a system to manage your activity just as you would with any other critical aspect of your business.

Some of the information you might want to capture includes:

  • Their birthday
  • Names of their spouse, children, and everyone’s birthdays
  • Their wedding and business anniversaries
  • Favorite sporting teams and sports
  • Hobbies and leisure activities (i.e., fishing, ballroom dancing)
  • Favorite food, wine, or alcoholic beverage
  • Favorite travel spots
  • Bucket list items


Once you get this information, decide when and how you’ll use it to make those meaningful deposits in your client’s emotional bank accounts. Make sure the actions you take are genuine and timely. Personalizing the gesture will go a long way toward making it memorable.

By recognizing the value of your clients, you turn them into raving fans. As a result, they become cheerleaders for you and your brand. When that happens, they tend to become a means for more referrals and more business opportunities.

Client satisfaction is key to the long-term success of any business. While some of the suggested CNEs may seem costly, they may only end up being pennies compared to what your client is worth to your business in the long term.

This month, we are sharing another blog post from Eric Knam with ActionCOACH Tulsa. Eric is a certified business coach providing business help, advice, and mentoring services to small and medium-sized businesses. We’ve watched many of our business colleagues move from working IN their business to working ON their business, enjoying the perks of being the boss as a result of partnering with Eric.

Keep reading to learn more about the personality trait most successful entrepreneurs share!

What Personality Trait Leads to Success?

Ask any group of successful entrepreneurs to define the personality traits that lead to their achievements, and you’ll get several responses. They will quickly throw out words like determination, sacrifice, and hard work. Others may show a little more humility and chalk their success up to personality traits like curiosity. Still others will credit dumb luck.

However, there is one additional personality trait that many of the most successful entrepreneurs share: discipline.

They have the discipline to follow their original vision, even when they are tempted to change course. The discipline to stay true to their original product or service, even when clients start asking for different things.

The discipline to ignore the bright, shiny objects that constantly pop up and tempt them to shift their focus rather than staying true to what they originally set out to do.

Steve Jobs, the legendary co-founder of Apple, said it best: “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to one thousand things.

How the Discipline of Saying “No” Led to a 7-Figure Exit

Andy Cabasso graduated with a law degree, but never really practiced law. Instead, he co-founded JurisPage, a company that specialized in helping law firms with their marketing.

Cabasso understood the marketing services lawyers needed, and his partner, Sam Brodie, knew how to build websites that ranked on Google. Their service was extremely popular among lawyers. As a result, they also attracted the attention of other service businesses that wanted to improve their marketing and website presence.

Cabasso and Brodie considered expanding their services beyond their niche but ultimately turned down the opportunity to work with clients outside of the legal profession. They knew they had something unique to offer lawyers.

They also knew the importance of recurring revenue. They insisted that their clients use JurisPage for website hosting, creating a strong base of recurring revenue for the company.

Prospects offered JurisPage thousands of dollars to build them a website that another company could host, but Cabasso turned them down. He knew that the recurring website hosting revenue was a fundamental component of building a valuable business.

In the end, Cabasso and Brodie’s discipline paid off. They ultimately attracted the attention of Uptime Legal, an Inc. 5000 business specializing in technology and practice management software for law firms.

The two companies were a perfect fit, leading to Uptime Legal acquiring JurisPage in a seven-figure deal just three years after it was founded by Cabasso and Brodie.

So remember, while curiosity and grit are important personality traits for any would-be entrepreneur, the ability to remain disciplined in the face of opportunity may be the most important attribute of all.

This month, we are featuring Eric Knam with ActionCOACH Tulsa. Eric is a certified business coach providing business help, advice, and mentoring services to small and medium-sized businesses. We’ve watched many of our business colleagues move from working IN their business to working ON their business, enjoying the perks of being the boss as a result of partnering with Eric.

Keep reading for a few great tips on how to find the right employees in the current hiring climate!

Searching for the Right Employees with Eric Knam | Action COACH

Searching for the right employee can be a little like trying to find Waldo. The job market has shifted significantly since the pandemic. As a result, people don’t look at or evaluate job opportunities the way they did a few years ago.

We won’t get into all the factors that are leading to this change. Instead, let’s focus on the outcome. The hiring pool is now more like a hiring puddle and finding great employees will probably be challenging for quite some time.

The current hiring climate is becoming more and more like spending your time in a “Where’s Waldo” book. Unfortunately, the book is now “expert” level and we don’t see him anywhere.

We’re so frustrated, that we just start flipping pages (posting on multiple job sites, using social media, now hiring signs, and anything else we can think of that might make a difference) hoping to catch a glimpse of him.

Then, just when we think we might have found our Waldo, it turns out they’ve already accepted another job, or worse, they don’t even show up for their interview and now we’re back to page one!

In a recent advice article on macslist.org, Abby Engers points out three things we should understand about the changing workforce.

  • Demographics Have Changed

Currently, Millennials make up ~35 percent of the U.S. labor force. By 2030, they will make up 75 percent. And remember, the youngest of this generation (b. 1996) are 23 and mostly in the workforce

The changing demographics are less about the number of Millennials entering the workforce and more about the number of Baby Boomers and Gen X workers retiring.

  • It’s a Candidate’s Market

To attract and retain stellar employees, companies will need to do a better job highlighting the benefits of their company and the roles they’re looking to fill. This means focusing on their culture, total compensation, and developing existing employees.

  • Traditional Career Expectations No Longer Exist

The traditional career ladder has broken; only 19 percent of companies still have them. A career has become less about a steady progression upwards and more about developing skillsets that can translate into many different opportunities.

Companies looking to retain their employees should focus on developing them through stretch projects, lateral moves, continuing education, rewards, rehiring alums, or other avenues that allow employees to grow.

As you work to attract the candidates you desire, keep these things in mind:

Get the Word Out

You’ve got to market your open positions. One way to do this is to take full advantage of your network. Make sure everyone you know is aware that you are hiring. Give them a clear understanding of your ideal employee and how they can get in touch with you.

Share your Employee Value Proposition

An EVP helps your ideal candidates determine if working for your organization will provide them with the benefits and opportunities they want from an employer.

Keep Your Core Values at the Center

You want employees who align with the organization’s culture. Make sure candidates are exposed to your values repeatedly as a part of your hiring and onboarding processes.

Move with a Purpose

Gone are the days of long, drawn-out hiring processes. Good candidates are being snatched up at a record pace. Don’t miss out on them to competitors who are moving faster.

Show Them You Care About Them

Give them regular training and education. Make sure they have access to forms of technology that will improve their work/life balance. Provide them flexible benefits. Do all you can to show that the people in your organization are its most valuable asset.

Quality candidates will also be doing their research on you. Your social media profiles, Google My Business Page, and website should all be up to date.  

Every interaction a candidate has with your business will make an impression on them. You want them all to have nothing but great things to say about you, even the ones who don’t get offered a job.

Finding your Waldo can be expensive and take some time. Make sure you balance your speed and efficiency with due diligence. Conduct background checks, assess skillsets and aptitude and call references. Hiring the wrong person can set you and your organization back significantly.

It’s better to pass on a lackluster candidate pool than to take the best option from it. Remember, your Waldo is out there, you just have to be willing to look as long as it takes.

This month, we are sharing another blog post from Eric Knam with ActionCOACH Tulsa. Eric is a certified business coach providing business help, advice, and mentoring services to small and medium-sized businesses. We’ve watched many of our business colleagues move from working IN their business to working ON their business, enjoying the perks of being the boss as a result of partnering with Eric.

Keep reading to learn more about the power ratios your business should be tracking!

Is Your Business Tracking These Important Power Ratios?

Doctors in the developing world measure their progress not by the total number of children who die in childbirth, but by the infant mortality rate – a ratio of the number of births to deaths.

Baseball’s leadoff batters measure their “on-base percentage” – the number of times they get on base – as a percentage of their at-bats.

Those looking to acquire a business also like tracking ratios, and the more ratios you can provide a potential buyer, the more comfortable they will become with the idea of buying your business.

Better than the blunt measuring stick of an aggregate number, a ratio expresses the relationship between two numbers, which is what gives them their power.

If you’re planning to sell your company one day, here’s a list of six ratios you should be tracking in your business now, so you can start building value:

1. Employees Per Square Foot

By calculating the number of square feet of office space you rent or own and dividing it by the number of employees you have, you can judge how efficiently you have designed your space. Commercial real estate agents use a general rule of 175–250 square feet of usable office space per employee.

2. Ratio of Promoters and Detractors

Fred Reichheld and his colleagues at Bain & Company and Satmetrix developed the Net Promoter Score® methodology. It is based on asking customers a single question that is predictive of both repurchase and referral.

Here’s how it works: survey your customers and ask them the question, “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend <insert your company name> to a friend or colleague?”

Figure out what percentage of the people surveyed give you a 9 or 10, and label that your ratio of “promoters.” Calculate your ratio of detractors by figuring out the percentage of people surveyed who gave you a score of 0 to 6.

Then calculate your Net Promoter Score (NPS) by subtracting your percentage of detractors from your percentage of promoters.

The average company in the United States has an NPS of between 10 and 15 percent.  Reichheld found companies with an above-average NPS grow faster than average-scoring businesses.

3. Sales Per Square Foot

By measuring your annual sales per square foot, you can get a sense of how efficiently you are translating your real estate into sales. Most industry associations have a benchmark. For example, annual sales per square foot for a respectable retailer might be $300.

With real estate usually ranking just behind payroll as a business’s largest expense, the more sales you can generate per square foot of real estate, the more profitable you are likely to be.

4. Revenue Per Employee

Payroll is the number one expense for most businesses, which explains why maximizing your revenue per employee can translate quickly to the bottom line. Google, for example, enjoyed a revenue per employee of more than $1.5 million in 2021, whereas a more traditional people-dependent company may struggle to surpass $100,000 per employee.

5. Customers Per Account Manager

How many customers do you ask your account managers to manage? Finding a balance can be tricky. Some bankers are forced to juggle more than 400 accounts, and therefore do not know each of their customers, whereas some high-end wealth managers may have just 50 clients to stay in contact with.

It’s hard to say what the right ratio is because it is so highly dependent on your industry. Slowly increase your ratio of customers per account manager until you see the first signs of deterioration (slowing sales, drop in customer satisfaction). That’s when you know you have probably pushed it a little too far.

6. Prospects Per Visitor

What proportion of your website’s visitors “opt-in” by giving you permission to e-mail them in the future? Dr. Karl Blanks and Ben Jesson are the cofounders of Conversion Rate Experts, which advises companies like Google and Apple on how to convert more of their website traffic into customers.

Dr. Blanks and Mr. Jesson state that there is no such thing as a typical opt-in rate because so much depends on the source of traffic. They recommend that rather than benchmarking yourself against a competitor, you benchmark against yourself by carrying out tests to beat your site’s current opt-in rate.

Acquirers have a healthy appetite for data. The more data you can give them – in the ratio format they’re used to examining – the more attractive your business will be in their eyes.

This month, we are sharing another blog post from Eric Knam with ActionCOACH Tulsa. Eric is a certified business coach providing business help, advice, and mentoring services to small and medium-sized businesses. We’ve watched many of our business colleagues move from working IN their business to working ON their business, enjoying the perks of being the boss as a result of partnering with Eric.

Keep reading to learn more about how to attract your target customer!

Five Steps to Get Your Target Customer to Raise Their Hand | Action COACH

Does it seem like it’s getting harder and harder to attract the attention of potential customers? If your answer is yes, it might be worth looking at how you are approaching them.

In this digital world, we often forget to begin a dialogue with our target customers. Instead, we immediately focus on trying to sell them something and skip right over the getting to know you phase. Learning what they need and identifying how your product or service might bring value to them is a key component in creating a relationship that leads to the sale.

Think about that used car salesman who doesn’t even give you time to get out of your car before he starts pushing you toward a vehicle that doesn’t even interest you. How likely are you to hang around to hear what he has to say? Not very! A better approach might be to engage your target audience by asking them to ‘raise their hands’. So how do you get them to ‘raise their hands’?

Step One: Identify Who Your Target Customer Is

Defining who you wish to serve is vital to the success of your marketing initiatives. The more targeted you can make your message, the easier it will be for your ideal customers to find you. To start, create a list of your ideal targets. Start with a broad scope, then narrow it down until you are super focused on one specific target group.

Here’s an example:

Broad Category
Someone who owns a business
Narrow Category
People who own bakeries
Super Targeted Category
Female Bakery Owners

Defining your target audience will allow you to dial in on their pain points.

Step Two: Figure Out a Problem With Which They Struggle

Google has made this pretty easy to do. Just look at the different search trends, habits, and activities for your targets. Then, focus your content creation on the challenges they are facing. If female bakery owners are having challenges hiring or creating reliable supply chains, figure out what you can offer to them that would cause them to engage with you

Perhaps your research determined that several female bakery owners are looking for additional finance options so they can develop reliable supply chains. Now you can create content that helps them find new finance options, provide different financing resources, or highlights best practices for those looking for additional funding.

Step Three: Create Content in Multiple Forms

Writing a long-form blog about the issue is a great place to start. You can then break the content down into smaller posts. Use the information from your research to create infographics. Record and post videos that highlight what you’ve discovered.

Offer a free checklist or tip sheet filled with best practices. You can also save yourself some time by sharing articles or other resources that were created by someone else.

Step Four: Don’t Give Everything Away at Once

A lot of people create their content, post it, and then hope for the best. Here’s another option to consider. Post only the headline of the article you found with the following message:

I just read a great article on (TOPIC) if you’d like more information or the link, type (WORD OF CHOICE) in the comments.

Now your target audience has the opportunity to ‘raise their hands’, which will allow you to start a conversation. Their activity will also boost the engagement of your post. You might also consider asking anyone interested to DM or private message you to get the link or content.

Step Five: Respond Quickly

You must respond promptly to all messages, reactions, and requests to keep the engagement on your post high. This also provides you a great chance to continue building your relationship by asking more questions.

It’s important to vary your content and posts. Everything you put out doesn’t need to have a ‘Raise Your Hand’ goal. Make sure you are also putting out content that will educate, entertain, or inspire your audience. This will ensure that you are offering multiple ways for your audience to engage with you. Mixing up your content will help you keep your audience interested.

Here are some additional types of content to consider:

  • Write a Blog
  • Create Your Own Video
  • Interview Customers or Subject Matter Experts
  • Develop Infographics
  • Share Tip Sheets or Checklists
  • Post White Papers
  • Offer E-Books
  • Post Links to Articles


Providing value to your target customers is always a great way to get them engaged in a conversation. Once you have their attention, focus on their needs, then help them understand how your service or product will better their lives. Once you do that, the rest should be easy.

This month, we wanted to feature Eric Knam with ActionCOACH Tulsa. Eric is a certified business coach providing business help, advice, and mentoring services to small and medium-sized businesses. We’ve watched many of our business colleagues move from working IN their business to working ON their business, enjoying the perks of being the boss as a result of partnering with Eric.

Keep reading for a few great tips on how to balance your business and personal lives in the coming year!

Balancing Your Business & Personal Lives with Eric Knam

It’s that time again when we start thinking about the upcoming year and all we want to accomplish in the next 365 days. Many of us will commit to losing a couple of pounds, reading more, or starting a workout routine. As a business owner, following through on these resolutions can be extra challenging, especially when your business demands so much of your time.

Let’s face it, owning a business is hard. It’s easy to end up in a situation where you are overworked, which ultimately leads to a feeling of burnout. If you find yourself in this situation, you’re not alone. A recent survey showed that more than 50% of business owners put in at least 50 hours every week and roughly 25% worked 60 hours or more!

There aren’t a lot of people who can sustain those levels of activity for a prolonged period. Most of us end up fried, frazzled, and worn out when we “burn the candle at both ends”. Our bodies weren’t made to perform at these levels for an extended period, so exhaustion tends to be inevitable.

If you are reading this and thinking, “Is he spying on me?” then it might be time to look at rebalancing your life. Long hours are a part of business, especially when you are just getting started.  That doesn’t mean that you can’t carve out some time for a personal life.  Finding ways to reduce your workload while maintaining the business’ upward trajectory will make a huge difference in your physical and mental health down the road.

After all, didn’t you get into business to have a better life? If it’s time to change things up when it comes to your workload, give these sure-fire strategies a try, you’ll be glad you did!

1. Delegate

When you start your business, this will probably be very difficult to do. In many cases, you’ll get the honor and responsibility of wearing most if not all of the “hats” in the business. This can be a good thing. When you know how to do something, it makes it easier to teach and train your replacement.

During the early stages of the business, it’s possible you’ll need to put in 50, 60 maybe even 80-hour weeks. If you’re still doing this after a couple of years, you’re doing something wrong!

The only way your business is going to get better is if you hire go-getters who are smarter than you, train them well, share your expectations and then get out of their way. An outstanding manager working with a well-trained crew will make you smile when you look at your bottom line. If you are open to their ideas and feedback, then the sky is the limit!

There is no way you can do everything yourself, so don’t try. A team of motivated, well-trained employees will make you look like a genius. They’ll also make your business and personal lives a lot more enjoyable.

2. Work smarter, Not Harder

Think about the law of diminishing returns. It can hit business owners especially hard. Do you know anyone who brags that they “work” 80 hours a week? Chances are, if you followed them through a day or two in their life, you’d find out that their productivity was exceptionally low.

It’s a good bet that they classify a lot of non-work activities as work. Sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day focusing on things that aren’t urgent or important is the definition of “busy-ness”, not business! 

How can you find ways to get more done in the time you have? Will an upgrade in your technology help you be more productive? Is the layout of your store inefficient? If so, it’s time to change it. Is your business drowning in paperwork? If the answer is “yes”, then it’s time to streamline things.

Your business can be more efficient and profitable while saving time. Here’s an example: the people of South Korea work roughly 2,100 hours a year on average and produce approximately $32 dollars of GDP per hour worked. On the other hand, the French work approximately 1,500 hours a year, and produce twice the GDP of the South Koreans.

Working smarter, not harder may sound cliché, and that’s ok. If increased productivity and profits resulting from fewer hours worked is cliché, sign me up!

3. Manage As Much As You Need, Not As Much As You Want

This is a tough one for a lot of people. You worked hard to build your business and it isn’t easy to let go. You expect your employees to treat it with the same care and attention that you do. The only way they can do that is if you give them the chance. If you hired the right people, trained them well and gave them the tools to succeed in their positions, back off and let them do THEIR job.

Empowering your employees shows them that you trust them which leads to greater commitment and makes your life a lot easier. You will still need to manage and lead. It’s ok to “trust but verify”, it’s not ok to micromanage.

If you find yourself in the middle of everything every day, you messed up somewhere. Either you are being overly controlling, you didn’t hire the right people, or they weren’t trained properly. Regardless of the reason, the fault is yours. You can’t control everything, so stop trying. Focus your time and energy on the things that really matter and the rest will take care of itself.