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Last Update: Monday December 9, 2019

Key Idea: Create A Place People Want To Come To Every Day

All Brand keeps customers coming back because it has knowledgeable employees.

Key Question:

A: 

The lack of turn over at All Brand speaks loudly about what the company means to the employees. Rick said All Brand has the most knowledgeable people in the business. Knowledge gives them confidence and security so they feel good about coming to work. They are not on edge, they don't feel vulnerable and weak. They feel strong and competent. They get positive feedback from the customers and from the owners.

Q: How did they get knowledge and why is this so key to success?

A:
All Brand employees have what is called, "institutional memory." They have been around the business for years so their knowledge grows deep. To speed up the learning process though, the best businesses we find pay for continuing education. Our resident entrepreneur, Jim Schell, asks, "Can a small business afford to train its people?" Then he answers his own question by saying, "small businesses can not afford not to train people?"

Why do so many business owners fail to teach employees? Fear, ignorance and procrastination are three reasons. Some owners believe that if employees learn too much, they will either demand more or leave. Some don't understand the power of education hen there are those who intend to offer more training and education but they just never get around to it.

Q: In addition to continuous education, what else can you do to make your workplace an attractive to a quality workforce?

A: Give employees the best tools you can afford and that includes technology of course. Give employees the best chair you can afford. Don't laugh. If you have knowledge workers who have to sit all day, plan to spend $500 to $1,000 for each chair you purchase.

When you can, build your own building so you can design optimum working conditions for every type of worker you have on the payroll. Think about light, light and more light! Natural light is better than a lightbulb and color is also invigorating. Hire an expert in design, ergonomics and Feng Sui. Their fees will turn out to be an excellent return on investment. Some firms offer these services for free when you purchase office furniture from them. Most architects know about these experts and even have their own personal favorites with whom they work. Whatever you don't, don't bring a spouse in to do the decorating! Especially if the spouse has nothing to do with the day-to-day operations. Employees will laugh behind your back.

Dr. Jonas Salk was struggling with his idea to find a cure for polio. Dr. Salk went on a retreat to Italy and stayed at the Abbey of Assisi. In a speech he made to the American Institute of Architects in the early 1990s, Dr. Salk said he came up with his vaccine at the Abbey and was convinced that the architecture had something to do with his mind being unlocked in some new way by the inspiration of the Abbey's architecture. In 2003, the American Institute of Architects announced the establishment of the Academy on Neuroscience for Architecture.

Architects and Moms know that people behave differently in different environments. The challenge for all of us who ask people to work a long, productive day is to create the space that is most conducive for it.

Think about it

Take an inventory of your work place. How does it make you feel? Are you proud of it? Do you feel more energy or less energy when you walk in the door.? Ask the people who work with you to tell you how they think the workspace affects them emotionally. What action can you take to create a place worthy of 1/3 of a person's life?

Clip from: All Brand Appliances

Mount Ephraim, New Jersey: In this episode of the show we go to Main Street America (just outside Philadelphia) to look at a classic family business, one that exists in most communities in America but seems to be threatened by new distribution systems and mega-stores like Lowe's and Home Depot. Talk about pressure... Yet, these small businesses may actually thrive in our fast-paced, ever-changing business culture. Best practices is what they do.

If a washing machine breaks, the parts needed to fix it are on the shelf of their store. Owned and run by brothers, Rick and Jeff Presant, the pros, the handyman, and the weekend warriors (honey-do's), are all welcomed to buy appliance parts at All Brand Appliance. With 12 employees and hundreds of ever-faithful customers, these two are building a business on kindness. That's right, kindness.

To prepare to buy All Brand from their father, Rick had his own supply company in another territory and Jeff worked for others.

Go to all the key ideas and videos of this episode...

All Brand Appliance (JP)

Jeff Present, Co-owner

170 North Black Horse Pike
Mt. Ephraim, NJ 08059
800-736-5870

Visit our web site: http://www.allbrand.com/

Office: 800-736-5870

Business Classification:
Retail/Wholesale

Year Founded: 1984

Create A Place People Want To Come To Every Day

HATTIE: (Voiceover) I hear this often, but never more enthusiastically than from Rick: `Our employees are the best.'

RICK: Well, I think we have the most knowledgeable people in this area, maybe in the industry.

HATTIE: Hey!

RICK: We have great people here.

There's something that makes you want to come back and deal with somebody. It's what basically separates--you know, everything is so competitive. We all have similar pricing, similar inventory, similar service. What is gonna make you different? And it's your people. It's like I had mentioned earlier, the people I have here--people want to deal with Ruth. They want to deal with Denise. Jeff, my salesman, he's out there on the front lines. When we got into the apartment business, every customer was dealing somewhere else. He had to get them to say, `Well, let me try All Brand, let me see what they could do.' And then from there, it's up to the other people here to maintain it. It's what separates you, sets you apart from your competition.

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