Keith Lee started his business career as a sales rep for Thompson Marking Service in 1978, worked his way up, and successfully bought the company in 1992. The systems he developed and implemented allowed the company to grow its sales from $300k to $15M per year, and earned them the recognition of being the “Best Small Business to Work For in Washington State” by Washington CEO Magazine. It eventually grew to become what we now know as American Retail Supply. In this episode, we talked about systems, hiring, management…

Show notes

  • Introducing Keith Lee. [00:36]
  • Keith talks about how he started his entrepreneurship journey. [01:07]
  • Why Keith’s company was named one of the best businesses to work for in Washington State. [05:20]
  • Keith’s advice on how business owners can start getting their employees to build systems. [09:36]
  • Why management gurus are wrong when they say that systems are complicated. [14:09]
  • The critical step to get your team’s buy-in to improve the systems you have in place. [14:29]
  • Why performance reviews do not work (what to do instead.) [18:29]
  • The four important questions that Keith asks in every performance development interview. [19:51]
  • The system that Keith uses to hire people who are the right fit for the job. [21:13]
  • How putting systems in place improves your onboarding efficiency. [25:08]
  • The crucial thing that business owners should do to get the desired outcome. [32:54]
  • The one message Keith sent to 10,000 American Retail Supply customers that cut down calls to two per quarter. [36:43]
  • How combining video with your procedures manual can make your training much more efficient. [41:10]
  • The biggest delegation mistake that business owners make. [42:18]
  • Keith’s process in creating and implementing systems. [44:06]
  • The kind of culture that people look for in a company. [48:01]
  • The simple trick that Keith does to get his team’s commitment to consistently deliver exceptional customer service. [50:31]
  • The number one thing that makes a great entrepreneur. [57:41]
  • The two things you need to ensure your business runs smoothly without you working in the business 24/7. [1:00:40]
  • How Keith sold his business at premium price despite having inventory issues. [1:02:05]
  • The top three books on Keith’s list. [1:03:37]

Resources And People Mentioned:

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