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Musings from the coach

Wendy’s is among the top three fast-food chains in the United States. The company has built a reputation on its fresh and never-frozen squared burger patties and frosty ice cream.

Wendy’s started as a simple dream of Dave Thomas. Born in New Jersey, Dave grew up as an adopted son of humble beginnings. He was an industrious boy with good values and respect for others. At the age of twelve, Dave had already gotten his first job at a restaurant. He would later be let go after a dispute with his manager. He found another job at the Hobby House in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Dave dropped out of high school at age 15 to work full-time and support himself. 

Dave’s boss, Paul Clauss, acquired four failing KFC stores and challenged Dave to transform them into stable and profitable ventures. Dave’s immediate action was to overhaul the then KFC complicated menu into simple meals and focus on the chicken. He introduced the chicken buckets to keep the chicken hot and suggested that Sanders appear in the KFC commercials. With these improvements, business was booming and Dave had successfully revived the four KFC stores.

Paul Clauss granted him a 45% share in the four KFC stores with the simple menu strategy being implemented in all other KFC stores. Dave sold all his KFC shares back to Sanders for $1.5 million. He started his own fast-food restaurant in 1969 and named it after his daughter Wendy. With simplicity and innovation as the cornerstone, he devised the first-ever drive-through window, a concept that almost all other fast foods would later copy. 

Dave ceased overseeing Wendy’s daily operation in 1982 but started to appear in all their commercials, making him the company’s face until he passed on in 2002.

Introduction to customer relationship management

In this introduction to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) I’m going to show you why it is a critical system for if you want your business to grow.

Almost every kid loves getting mail especially when it’s a gift or card for their birthday, Christmas, or other special occasions. The truth is we never really grow out of this. Most adults still love getting thoughtful cards and gifts for special occasions and your customers are no different. They want to hear from you at the time and place that makes sense to them. 

If you have a big family, you know how hard it can be to track everyone’s birthday, anniversaries, graduations, and numerous other special occasions. The same is true for your customers. You need a system to track all of this data so you can connect with your customers at the right time with the right information. A good CRM system can make this level of personalization much easier for your business

In fact, a CRM should be mandatory for every business. The reason SalesForce and Hubspot are billion-dollar companies because CRMs work. Today, I’m going to give you an introduction to customer relationship management and share tips on how to use AllClients, the CRM I use. 

Tool: An Introduction to Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

A CRM will help your business to reorganize processes, improve customer relationships, and ultimately increased profits. 

For me, a CRM provides three important advantages:

  1. Technology: record and store customer data to make it easier to organize and for you or one of your employees to take action on! 
  2. Strategy: decide how and when customers should be contacted.  
  3. Process: a systemized way to everything out of your head and into a form that allows you to engage customers and follow-up with prospects. 

Having a sales program without a CRM puts your business at a big disadvantage.  It’s difficult to do business development while striking a balance between prospecting and closing sales. CRM systems such as HubSpot, Salesforce, and AllClients provide a systemized way to consistently follow-up with leads, set appointment reminders, and see who is in what stage of your sales pipeline. 

The Tool: AllClients CRM

I prefer to use the AllClients CRM since it is easy to learn, easy to use, and has the features I need to include:

  • Customizable Dashboard

I can customize my AllClients dashboard to display valuable information that matters to my business. For example, I can create an overview of how my numbers look over any given time period. Also, I have the liberty to choose which numbers to display. With this information available at a glance, I am constantly in the know.

  • To do plans

With the AllClients CRM, I can schedule my to-do list in order of preference. It allows me to organize my workflow. I can send a thank you email to my clients upon receiving their orders and conduct a customer satisfaction survey, all with a couple of clicks in the AllClients CRM.

  • Simplifies workflows 

The AllClients system groups my diverse client’s activities into simplified automatic sequences that make my work easy and ensure I never skip essential steps. 

  • Fast, responsive email templates

The professional and customizable emails featured in the AllClients with the drag and drop design reduce email composition time. The smart design tools, easy email merger abilities, reliable review, and approval feature save a ton of time.

  • The agenda assistant feature

With AllClients, I receive morning emails to notify me of upcoming events such as; to-do lists, appointments, birthdays, and others as part of the agenda assistant feature.

Tips: How to Get the Most Out of Your CRM

The AllClients CRM is the best on the market for my business. It helps me stay top of mind with clients 3,6,9 months or even a few years down the road when they are ready for my services. 

Here are my top three tips to get the most out of your CRM that you can apply if you’re using AllClients or any other CRM system. 

  1. CRM customization

You need to invest the time to customize it to fit your unique business needs. There are some easy customizations that you can start out with such as adding your logo and templates. Once you have these down you can explore more complicated customizations such as adding third-party plug-ins to make the CRM even more powerful for your business. 

  1. Onboarding/ Employee training 

Once you’ve customized your CRM you need to start using it. If you have employees helping you with these tasks you must provide them with training on the CRM system along with some onboarding time for them to get used to working in the new system. Additionally, you (or better yet, your employees!) should create Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to implement to make sure you’re getting the most out of your CRM. Also, review these SOPs at least quarterly and make changes as necessary.  

  1. Update Database information

Garbage in, garbage out. Your CRM is only going to be as good as the data put in and updated in the system. You or an employee should be entering data, updating customer information, and checking the data for accuracy regularly. Prospect contact information, notes, and other important details should be entered into the system as soon as possible so the data is easily accessible and actionable. 

Quote: “Follow up and follow through until the task is completed, the prize won.” — Brian Tracy.

Brian Tracy was a well-known American Canadian investor, public speaker,  entrepreneur, the president and CEO of three multi-million-dollar companies in the U.S. Brain Tracy is a self-made millionaire who hustled his way up from humble beginnings. Born in Vancouver in 1944 to Canadian parents, Tracy dropped out of school at an early age and engaged in hard labor demanding jobs until he started his traveling career in his early 20s.

What’s next?

The toughest part of good follow-up and follow-through isn’t willpower or persistence. It’s about having a good system in place to make it automatic for your business. Making the sale on the first contact is rare, riches are made in the follow-up. A CRM will keep you top of mind with your clients, prospects, and network so you can enjoy the benefits of consistent growth and results. 

I want you to have more money and time so you can enjoy the freedom you deserve! This tool, tip, and quote article is a glimpse into the insight I provide my clients on a regular basis to get stunning results. In last month’s tool, tip, and quote I showed how you can increase your client bookings by 50%.

My mission is to help business owners who have a burning desire to take action. I provide the best business advice conflict-free to help you eliminate a problem, double your income, brainstorm an idea, and solve any of the hundreds of issues that come up when you’re a business owner.

Want Coach Larry V. to help you? Schedule a Discovery Meeting.

Today Domino’s Pizza is the second-largest franchised pizza chain in the United States with 17,200 stores spread out to 5,701 cities across the world, but it didn’t start that way. They pioneered the 30 minutes or less pizza delivery concept that revolutionized the industry and endured some tough times before reaching their status as the pizza king and all the glory that goes along with it. 

Like many other businesses, Domino’s pizza restaurant in 1961 started with just one store in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Brothers Tom and James Monaghan bought a small pizza restaurant called DomiNick’s from the previous owner for a $500 down payment and $900 in loans. One year into the business, James decided to trade his shares for a second-class Volkswagen Beetle. He liked his full-time postman job; he didn’t want to quit his job to meet the demands of the new business. Four years later in 1965, Tom purchased two more pizzerias because he wanted additional stores with the same branding, but the original owner of DomiNick’s, wouldn’t allow Tom to use the name. An employee named Jim Kennedy returned from a pizza delivery and suggested Tom adopt Domino’s as the new name. Immediately he loved the idea, and in 1965 the business officially became known as Domino’s Pizza, Inc.

The original pizzeria logo has three dots representing the three original Domino’s stores. Tom wanted a new dot to be added every time they opened a new store, but the idea was not practicable as the business boomed and expanded quickly. In 1967 Domino’s opened their first franchised location and by 1978 they had grown to over 200 stores in the United States. In 1975, Amstar Corporation, Domino Sugarmakers, served them a lawsuit for alleged trademark violation and unfair competition for using the name Domino’s. The case took a while with a series of appeals, but on 2nd May 1980, the New Orleans court of appeal ruled in Tom’s favor.

The Domino’s Pizza brand gained access to the international market on 12th May 1983, and the first international store was opened in Winnipeg, Canada.  The new market worked well and within the same year, they opened the 100th store in Vancouver, Washington. In 1985 Domino’s Pizza expanded their services to Luton in the United Kingdom and Tokyo, japan’s capital city.  In 1993 they became the second-ever American franchise to open a business in the Dominican Republic and first ever to taste the Haitian market under the stewardship of Luis de Jesús Rodríguez. Their growth from here on out was rapid and by 1997 they had established over 1,500 stores in various locations on six continents around the world. This milestone we celebrated by unveiling seven new stores across five continents on the same day.

In 2017, Dash Brands ltd acquired exclusive rights for the Hong Kong and Macau Domino’s Pizza. Having conquered almost all other markets, it was time to storm the home of pizza. The Domino’s store was established on October 5th, 2015 in Milan. 

For many years Domino’s Pizza was a privately held company. Tom Monaghan lead the company for 38 years as CEO before he decided to retire. In 1998 93% of the company was sold to Bain Capital for a billion dollars. In 2004, Domino’s Pizza was finally listed on New York Stock Exchange under the DPZ ticker symbol after 44 years of private ownership. 

Today Dominio’s Pizza continues to evolve and find innovative ways to serve customers better. As a result, they’ve continued to do well despite the glut of pizza concepts that have opened in the last few decades. The secret to Domino’s business success was baked in early on with the focus and commitment made in the early years of the business. While James made the choice at the time to pursue a full-time job, Tom’s dedication allowed him to turn his $500 investment into a billion-dollar business in just hair under four decades.

The story of Domino’s Pizza is a great example of a business and a leader that focused on getting better year after year to build a great brand. Domino’s Pizza was not an overnight success especially compared to the “unicorns” we hear about today. It took Tom 38 years of hard work with many ups and downs in order to get there. The payoff was still more than he could have imagined when he baked his first pizza in 1961 in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Most importantly, Domino’s Pizza will probably still be slinging pizza long after many of today’s “unicorns” are long gone.

This is 2021 and the business is moving faster than ever before. We moved on from dial-up to high-speed internet, flip phones to smartphones, and so on. Now it’s time to move on from scheduling meetings with 4 to 7 emails back and forth. 

These emails are a waste of time and energy for you and your clients or customers. Worse yet it creates friction at the most critical part of the relationship, when they are ready to take action!

In this month’s tool, tip, and quote I’ll show you the tool I used to increase client bookings by 50% and eliminated the back and forth emails that create friction with clients. 

Tool: Calendly, A smarter way to schedule meetings

Gone are the days when you had to wait for a positive reply from your client to set up a prospective meeting. No more flipping through the days of the week on your calendar to find out if your client is available to pre-schedule a meeting. 

Calendly is an application that eliminates the friction between you and your prospects, customers, or clients to set meetings. They even have a free version that offers enough features for you to start seeing immediate results. 

Here are the top 8 ways Calendly can help you: 

1.Integrated calendar:  Calendly can integrate with your calendar on Google, Office 365, iCloud, Outlook, etc. to avoid overlapping schedules or double booking. 

2. Buffer time: The tool allows setting buffer time in between the meetings and also helps to avoid last-minute meetings. You can also use this buffer time to create secret events or meets. 

3. Flexible number of attendees: Calendy supports one-on-one meeting schedules as well as a collective schedule for a team meeting. You can invite any number of attendees to a meeting. 

4. Time zone detection: The application seamlessly detects your time zone along with your clients or invitees to ensure everyone stays on the same line. 

5. App Integrations: Calendly can be accessed through any device and via different apps. You can automate meeting schedules by integrating Calendly with GoToMeeting, Salesforce, Zapier, Zoom, and more.

6. Set limits: You can set a limit on the maximum number of meetings for a day. This will ensure that Calendly doesn’t show you available to any client or invitation for that day after your schedule is full. 

7. Collects payment: Yes, Calendly can collect payments from your clients or invitees via Paypal or credit card for client meetings. 

8. Website embed: You can embed Calendly directly on your website.  This will help your clients to check your availability and instantly schedule a meeting right from your official website. 

Of course, they have a number of other features as well. The 8 above are the ones I’ve found the most useful. 

Tip: How to use Calendly to increase bookings by 50%

I realized I may love Calendly too much when I sent my college daughter my link to schedule a virtual coffee. She replied back “Are you kidding me Dad?” Priceless!

The efficiency and time savings are insane. You may have seen my Calendly link in a number of different places lately. 

Here are the 5 places I use my Calendly link to increase bookings by 50%. 

1. Email signature: this gives you the opportunity to book a meeting with your clients or customers in every email you send to them without all the back and forth.

2. Prospect emails: If your business is high-touch, this tool makes it easy for prospects to easily move to the next step in the sales process. You can send these prospect emails manually or automate them through an Email Marketing Service such as MailChimp.

3. Text messages: this is great for existing clients to quickly set up a meeting for updates or new opportunities. 

4. Social media DMs: similar to text messages, social media DMs from prospects or other business opportunities allows you to easily move them to the next step in the process.

5. Social media posts: putting your Calendly link at the bottom of social media posts gives readers a dead-simple way to schedule a meeting as a prospective client. 

Another quick tip, once the bookings start rolling in you can connect Calendly to your Zoom account so it automatically creates and sends a Zoom link to your meeting partner to save you even more time. What a system!

Quote: “Quitters never win and winners never Quit”

This is the most dangerous quote to live by for both your business and personal life. Why?

Vince Lombardi is considered by many to be the greatest coach in NFL history. He coached the winning team of the first two Super Bowls along with many other accomplishments. In fact, the Super Bowl trophy is named in his honor. 

This quote is largely attributed to Lombardi although he probably wasn’t the first one to say it. To be fair this is great advice for certain situations such as sports and health goals. However, it’s incredibly destructive in business and your personal life. 

Sometimes quitting is the hardest choice. I’ve seen countless folks destroy their financial situation in business because they believe that quitters never win. The truth is that sometimes you absolutely should quit. The same holds true for personal and romantic relationships along with jobs that never get better and are dead ends. 

Why be miserable Monday thru Friday every week. Life is short. Quite, change, or pivot. In the real world of business and life, winners do and should quite sometimes! Quitting is oftentimes more commendable than never quitting to protect your pride, ego, and chasing the status quo. 

How do you know when to quit? This is a tough question and the answer depends a great deal on your individual situations. However, one of the best books written on this topic is “The Dip” by Seth Godin. It will give you a good framework to decide if you’re in a dip or a dead end and if you should quit or keep working. 

What’s next?

I want you to have more money and time so you can enjoy the freedom you deserve! This tool, tip, and quote article is a glimpse into the insight I provide my clients on a regular basis to get stunning results. 

My mission is to help business owners who have a burning desire to take action. I provide the best business advice conflict-free to help you eliminate a problem, double your income, brainstorm an idea, and solve any of the hundreds of issues that come up when you’re a business owner. Want Coach Larry V. to help you? Schedule a Discovery Meeting.

Yes, you read that right. The celebrated ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s has an inspiring story that didn’t begin with ice cream at all!

There is so much to learn from Ben & Jerry’s story.  Here’s the behind the scenes look at how it all got started. 

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield were childhood friends living in New York. Ben Cohen was a failed artist who eventually dropped out of studies after attending several colleges. He finally settled down as a crafts teacher for children in New York who were emotionally disturbed. Jerry Greenfield also tasted failure as a lab technician. He failed to get into medical school even after three attempts. 

The idea has its root in their high school years when Ben used to drive an ice cream truck. Even Jerry worked as an ice cream scooper in the Oberlin College cafeteria during one of his attempts to study medicine. The two friends who departed during their college days, reunited after many years in New York. After discussing their individual failed endeavors, they both decided to venture into a food business. 

Ben and Jerry initially thought of making bagels. However, they realized that the equipment they needed was too expensive and they couldn’t come up with the cash for such a large investment. Instead, they changed their plan and settled on making ice creams. 

To prepare, Ben and Jerry invested $5 in an ice-cream making correspondence course at the Pennsylvania State University in 1978. The duo converted an old gas station into an ice cream parlor in Burlington, Vermont after noticing that the college town had no other ice cream parlors to compete with.

That same year in 1978, they opened “Ben & Jerry’s homemade” in the renovated gas station with a total investment of $12,000 out of which $4,000 was borrowed. 

The creative flavors of their rich ice cream soon began to win hearts. Ben & Jerry’s ice cream became a community favorite. They even celebrated their first anniversary in 1979 with the first-ever free-cone day. The shop gave away free scoops and cones throughout the day and the tradition continues to this day in all Ben & Jerry’s ice cream shops. 

The success followed with the making of pints in 1980 to be sold to local grocers. Soon they decided to expand their business and in 1981 the duo opened their first franchise scoop shop at Shelburne, Vermont. 

The 1980s saw the unveiling of some popular signature flavors of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. The duo also entered into a deal with a Boston distribution company. There has been no looking back since then. Today, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is a globally renowned ice cream brand.

Business lessons from Ben & Jerry’s story

The story of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is definitely an inspiring one. It can be a role model for the many struggles you face on a regular basis. Here are some lessons from Ben and Jerry’s story that you can apply to your business. 

1. Be open to new opportunities: Ben and Jerry didn’t stop when their initial plan to start a bagel shop fell through. Instead, they pivoted and took action on what they could with the resources they had available and it turned out better than they could have ever imagined. 

2. Make a great product: Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is a great product that their true fans love. They have unique flavors that are well formulated to keep their brand the one fans reach for in the freezer case over all of the options available today. 

3. Use Creativity: Both Ben and Jerry have devoted their heart and soul to the business. They have been focused on staying consistently creative to keep the business afloat. During the winter when the demand for ice creams dropped dramatically, they devised a plan to keep selling their products. Ben and Jerry reduced the price based on the weather. The more the temperature dropped, the price of the cones did too! 

4. Work hard: There is no substitute for hard work and dedication. Ben and Jerry already had a basic knowledge about ice creams from their previous jobs. However, they wanted to gain expertise and in-depth knowledge of their product and hence enrolled in a correspondence course. Despite the initial success, they worked in the trenches for years to take the business where it is now. 

Wrap up

I want you to have the same level of smashing success as Ben and Jerry! Take action and apply the lessons learned above in your business. You’ll be shocked at the results.

My mission is to help business owners who have a burning desire to take action. I provide the best business advice conflict-free to help you eliminate a problem, double your income, brainstorm an idea, and solve any of the hundreds of issues that come up when you’re a business owner.

Want to know how I can help you? Schedule a free 15-minute virtual coffee meeting.

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