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Seattle Times┬áheadline – “Sanders urges crowd to defeat rigged system.”
Magazine headlines – “Stopping Trump,” “Unstoppable Force,” and more
Sanders and Trump supporters have a lot of commonality. According to reports both groups are:
  • Disgruntled
  • Disenfranchised
  • Feel left behind
  • Wanting things
  • Wanting to get rid of other things
Sanders is playing on the “I’ll give you” theme including free health care, free tuition, and more. Trump is sowing seeds of dissatisfaction to people who want things the way they were.
Trump’s supporters want to believe he will rid them of immigrants, foreign business threats, and other obstacles to old-fashioned jobs. Sanders’ supporters want to him to get rid of the big banks (and I’m sure other big companies, except where they work).
Both groups seem to show a disdain for “the rich,” other than their candidate.
So what does this have to do with your business, buy-sell deals, and business in general? These are the people who work for us, buy from us, and supply us. If they’re not happy in general how happy can they be on the job?
  • General example – Gallup studies show up to “70% of US workers not engaged at work.”
  • Specific example – The Chicago Bears recently signed free agent linebacker Danny Trevathan who, within about a week of signing his contract, said he wished the (Bears top rival) Green Bay Packers had called him because he’d love to play for them.
Where are your customers and employees in relation to the above?
With a group of clients recently we talked about some of the little things business owners do to create and maintain their culture. This included the intangibles like smiling, paying attention to the employees, having fun events (beer Fridays, games, happy hours, etc.), and being part of the team (versus being locked in the office). The tangible items included free soda pop, fancy coffee machines, donuts, lunches, and more. Because once you have good people you want to keep them.
It’s why so much time, money, and effort is spent on culture, team building, communication, and similar. So what if your customers aren’t doing this? Will it affect your business? It could have a huge impact on your business and at some point your company’s value.
  • A client is looking at a company that’s experienced a lot of employee turnover. He’ll need to know what it means going forward, is this cultural problem so deep it can’t be fixed, or can he change it and improve the business?
  • Another client had the buyer leave her company, the relationship had to be reestablished, and my client was pretty nervous about the possibility of losing the business. And he had every right to be nervous, as the following story illustrates (and it’s one of my favorites).
  • A panicked owner called me because his top customer, over 80% of his business, disappeared. Not as in a magic trick, as in the business suddenly went elsewhere. A new person took over as the buyer and brought in a supplier they knew. The owner figured since his company started with and helped the customer when they were a startup he was owed something. It turned out to be a quick path to the door.
The owner in the last example called me because he was hoping someone would buy his business, or at least the shell of his business. I’m guessing his personal net worth took an immediate tumble.

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