Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Rocky Romanella, Founder of 3Sixty Management Services, LLC., located in Monroe Township, NJ, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
3 Sixty Management Services is a consulting team that helps take businesses from good to great. We do that with a concept we’ve created called “The Coach-Consultant Concept.” As your small business consultant, we will collaborate with you and your team on strategy, planning and problem solving, and we help our clients develop business skills and knowledge.
The topics range from designing a business model or marketing plan to determining which marketing techniques to use and how to use them with a specific eye to process improvement. We help our clients learn how to plan and implement projects. As your small business consultant, we give advice as if it were our own business. We teach skills and brainstorm with you to produce practical results and enhance strategic thinking.
As your small business coach, we will work to create success by focusing on personal development: time management, self-sabotaging behavior (like procrastination and distraction), finding clarity, decision making, and getting into action. As your coach, we do not give advice. Instead, we help you find the answers from within yourselves and the organization.
Tell us about yourself
Shortly after high school graduation, a group of my friends accepted jobs as a part-time unloader at UPS. For me, it was simply a way to pay for college but turned into a decorated career. I worked the twilight shift from 5 pm- 9 pm, loading and unloading packages. Quickly, I learned about the “promotion from within” policy and recognized the chance for an opportunity to grow within the company. My first promotion was from unloader to part-time supervisor. Over my 36 years, I had upwards of 7 promotions and 8 cross country moves. I ended my career at UPS as the President of Retail Operations for The UPS Store, where I led the largest rebranding initiative in franchise history when UPS acquired Mailboxes Etc. and it was rebranded to become The UPS Store. I also led UPS’s entry into the healthcare industry and created the mantra, “it’s a patient, not a package.” After retiring from UPS, I was recruited to take on the role of CEO of Unitek Global Services, a publicly traded telecommunications company. I stayed at Unitek for 3 years, then founded my own company, 3sixty management services. Now, as the CEO of 3sixty Management Services, I consult, train, and educate individuals and companies on the principles of balanced leadership. Many of these principles can be found in my book “Tighten the Lug Nuts: The Principles of Balanced Leadership.” I’m also a keynote speaker and have attended many conferences and leadership meetings to discuss these topics.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I’ve created a consulting concept that’s unlike any others out there. It’s also extremely effective because it gives me a way to assess quickly and effectively where a company is. I do that by having them answer these three simple questions
• Who are you?
• What do you stand for?
• What will you never compromise?
It's amazing what both myself and the business I’m consulting with can learn by answering these three simple yet challenging questions. The answers to these questions then shape what work we do next to take their company from good to great.
I've also created the concept of The 100-Day Plan. It offers an easy-to-implement blueprint for a strategic planning process that is both powerful in approach and elegant in its simplicity to boost growth and “restart the engine.” The 100-day plan should lay out a vision for the business over the next 100 days and, benchmarks to hit, and strategies to hit them. This gives you a concrete way to measure growth.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things that come with being a business owner is knowing what and when you can’t compromise. Oftentimes in an effort to grow, I see business owners cut corners and compromise values to generate revenue or just stay afloat.
It’s also hard as a business owner not to allow your strengths to become your weaknesses. Sometimes when you overplay that hand, what ends up happening is that you stop at the first right answer. For example, if the price is the first right answer, you run the risk of becoming a commodity in the eyes of your customer.
We purchased Mailboxes Etc., and after our extensive research, we rebranded the stores to The UPS Store, and it certainly was and is a great model and brand. One of our strengths was our density with over 3,000 stores. We had great locations, and models entrepreneurs wanted to own, so that clearly was one of our strengths. But we were careful not to focus solely on chasing new stores in their current format. We began to look at non-traditional stores (universities, hotels, etc.) to supplement the growth of traditional stores because we did not want to grow for growth’s sake. We had to push through the current successful growth model, the first right answer.
From a product set, we needed to understand the foundation of our core set of strengths – to understand what differentiated us. We had an excellent brand and great locations. People understood who we were, but not what made us better than the competition. We knew strategically we wanted to do more things, like copies, returns, etc. But the differentiator was that we wanted to be small business owners working for small businesses.
We could easily have said, "Hey, we're getting into the copy space because everyone needs copies and small businesses especially need copies." Instead, we said that we were going to be small business owners that helped small businesses. With that strategy and subsequent branding, customers could view us as the small business hub, their trusted small business advisor, vs. a pack-and-ship location. They could have a mailbox there, and that could be their home or remote office. They could use fax machines to make copies. If they needed a notary for a signature, we could offer that.
The result was that we started to build a portfolio that was more about small businesses helping small businesses than it was a product that we were selling. Value always helps to move the discussion from price, which will help you to move from a commodity to a value-added product or service. This approach will work in good times, challenging times, and uncertain times.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
The top tip I give everyone, and I live by, “Always tighten your lug nuts,.” In other words, don’t allow important things to become urgent. You can only manage a few urgent things at a time, so do not let important items that can be quickly taken care of becoming urgent, and they can overwhelm you. This is the downfall of businesses.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Leadership is not a passive duty, it is an active responsibility. This means providing people with the leadership they need to successfully reach their desired goals in concert with those in the organization. In other words, get out from behind your desk and walk around. You must have personal integrity, live your word, and establish open, candid, trusting, and respectful relationships at all levels, especially with your direct reports. When you treat all people inside and outside of your organization fairly and respectfully, you will see others bring their own discipline, hard work, and enthusiasm to work each day. True empowerment is when people discipline themselves.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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