When you start your business, you and your team are often in the same room and that leads to a shared mindset on the work and culture. As you start to grow, almost every leader is frustrated with keeping all of the team on the same page.
As the owner you have a vision, mission and purpose for your business (whether you have articulated it or not). And your team has come to you with all of their history and baggage. This affects how they interact with you and how they work.
Then there is the halo affect that comes with being a leader. Everything you say or do is amplified because YOU are the leader. It can be compared to the parent child dynamic. For more information on this, look up Transactional Analysis.
There are a lot of things you can control as a leader and a lot more that you can’t. But an understanding of the psychology, structure, and cadence of communication with your team can help.
Here are some things to consider as you bring your team into alignment.
- What are the values and behaviors that will be tolerated in your organization? This is your culture. And what you tolerate is what you will get. Is this written down and communicated on a regular basis?
- If you frequently have people that are not doing things the way you expect, ask yourself, “what am I not communicating or being clear about”?
- Creating systems, policies, and procedures will reinforce the culture, the expectations, and agreements you make with your team. Instead of laying out “expectations,” of your people, I would suggest creating “agreements” with them.
- In your hiring process ask yourself, how will you identify the characteristics and attitude you want in your team? The templates and assessments look for skills. Those are easy. Character and attitude, this is where you find the gems.
If you want to grow and scale your business, you will need people. And when you add people to the mix, you now need to practice leadership in addition to your craft that built your business. If you would like to learn how to grow, scale, and expand your business, check out the Video here.
As a small business owner or entrepreneur, you may be like me, and you have searched high and low for the secret sauce to “Success”. The magic bullet that will attract customers. The one that will inspire your people and that will turn all the work you do into profit. I have come to the same conclusion (AGAIN).
It seems I need reminding.
That Success is about Consistency.
Do you want more customers? Be consistent in your lead generation activities. Whether it is cold calls, Instagram posts or SEO (Or any of the other 5,000 ways to market your business).
What I observe with so many of my clients is they start something and gain traction and then another shiny object comes along. Then they dump the activity that was generating results and start all over.
When I got out of college, I took up the Martial Arts for years. Tae Kwon Do, Chinese Kempo, Escrima, Tu Kong Mu Sool. And the secret to advancement in each of them was practice. Consistent Practice. Showing up for class, doing the work, and then practicing on my own. I used to go into the gym for 2 -3 hours every Saturday to practice my forms. And forms was where I won tournaments. And it was only in two of these that I advanced very far.
George Leonard was a sportswriter who took up Aikido late in life. He ended up writing a book called Mastery. The premise is, “It’s all about the practice”. You will learn something and put it into practice. As time goes on, you will hit a plateau where it will seem like progress has stalled and you will look for the next shiny thing. Keep practicing. And, all of a sudden, you will break through to the next level.
In my first sales job, my success was dependent upon my success in setting appointments by phone (COLD CALLS). My goal was 25 appointments every other week. And there would be days where I made no appointments in my calling time. But if I stuck with the script and the habit of dialing and smiling, I would get five appointments the next day.
And here is the contrarian in me. So Many Gurus tell you to take MASSIVE action. Most of you won’t sustain that. But you have a better chance of achieving tiny habits. When you work tiny incremental habits consistently you will get to your goal. #Commit to your habits not the goals. Taking consistent action over time compounds, and you achieve massive results.
If you would like to learn more about the power of consistency in your business, check out the resources at https://ras-squared.com
Are you thinking about selling your business? If not, you might want to start. I mean, even if you are young and having fun, at some point you will want to exit. When you exit, you will want to maximize your returns.
Here are some things to consider:
It might seem obvious, but you want to improve your profitability. Whoever looks to purchase your business is going to want to see a history of profitability. As one of my mentors likes to say, “Revenue is an Ego number, Profitability is the Real number”. Can you show a trend of increasing profits? That adds a bit more value. This is why you need to understand your finances. There are three levers in your P &L for profit. They are Revenue, Cost of Goods, and Overhead.
One key to profit is driving revenue and to do that you must look, sound, and feel different than your competition. One mistake I see many owners make is they discount their services to “capture” the business. They see everyone else doing it so they assume… In reality, your potential client is looking for value and when you can differentiate based on the value that you offer, you can charge more for your services. There is a formula for this.
Your processes add tremendous value if they are well-defined and clear. A buyer wants to walk in and be able to follow a process for success. This is why so many owners go into a franchise. The franchisor has built a model that if you follow it, you will be successful. Document your systems to success. Your bank account will thank you.
The more of your revenue that is recurring, the larger the revenue stream your buyer can pay for. This is why you see more and more service firms moving to a subscription model. It evens out the peaks and valleys and it is recurring.
Develop a workforce that delivers. When you have a stable workforce that delivers high-quality results to your clients, that adds yet more value to the purchase price. Particularly today, we see the challenge employers are having trouble with recruiting and keeping good employees. This is culture, skills, and mindset development and opportunities. No longer are people an asset, they need to become partners.
Finally, spruce up the business. Make sure your records (financial, SOP’s, systems) are easy to access and easy to understand. If you have a showroom, make sure it is clean and presentable. I was recently in a garage where you literally did not want to touch the walls (even in in the waiting room,) because there was grease and grime on the walls.
In case you haven’t noticed, keeping these points in mind from the start of your business will help you grow your business as well. Check out the resources at https://ras-squared.com if you would like more information
Whenever I wonder where my lead flow has gone, I can look to procrastination. It can be the weight gain, it can be overwhelm, it can be disgruntled staff or customers. If you step back in the majority of cases, it’s because you have procrastinated.
- You put off going to the gym because it was cold.
- You put off the uncomfortable conversation about an employee’s performance.
- Your pipeline has dried up because you put off calling potential clients.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Here are three ideas to help you overcome procrastination.
First, is there something you can start on the project that will take 1 – 2 minutes? For example, getting geared up for the gym. Once you put on your sneakers, you are in motion and chances are you will head to the gym.
With an employee who is having performance issues, schedule the 1:1 conversation. Once it is in the calendar, you are 70% more likely to get it done. And because it is scheduled, you can prepare. Keeping an employee on track is way easier that replacing an employee.
Review your annual goals daily, you know, the big rocks. By reviewing your goals and then asking the honest question, “Am I on track in pursuit of these goals”? you will help yourself prioritize your day. For all of my friends that love networking and meeting people, ask yourself, are those coffee meetings turning into business? If not, are those the conversations that you need to be having? Or is all of that networking a way to put off the difficult work of building a funnel or calling ten prospective clients?
Make sure to celebrate your wins. All to often we are in pursuit of a goal, we get it and we scurry on to the next one. Take a moment to celebrate. Observe yourself winning and what that feels like. Reinforce the reason you want to go into action… so you can have more wins.
Bonus idea number 4, find a way to embrace the process. Sometimes we get so focused on the win (income amount, number of clients, the beach body, etc.) that we forget that to get there we have to do some things. We have to hit the gym, we have to pick up the phone, we have to do the research on the new client potential in order to get the beach body, the new client, or open a new market.
It is ironic how many business owners decide that what they need is “marketing”. So, they go and hire a marketing team (outsourced or internal). Then after spending thousands of dollars, they wonder what went wrong. I mean they are running ads, they’ve jumped on the Insta and Tik Tok bandwagon…where are the new clients?
The Owner never took the time to be strategic, to really understand their place in the market. They did not determine how to actually own that space in their client’s mind. It starts with Your Market Dominating Position. This is a strategic position where the value you deliver aligns with what your clients want in a unique way that helps them trust you and your recommendations rapidly.
- It is not that you are a wealth advisor (no one cares).
- It is not that you are a business attorney (no one cares).
- It is not that you are a painter, plumber, or candlestick maker.
Your client has a problem, and they want a solution. The Problem they want to solve is not that they need a wealth advisor. They’ve already decided to look at that. Their problem is how do they find one that will speak to them and not down to them? How do they know that the advisor is working for them and not the commissions? Heck, how do they know the advisor isn’t another Bernie Madoff? How do you solve THAT problem?
If you are a plumber, they know they need a plumber. But have you seen the stuff plumbers walk in every day? Do you want that in your house? There are some plumbers that demonstrate concern for the home by putting booties on to protect the homeowners floors when they enter, alleviating that concern. Or we’ve all heard stories about plumbers (and other trades) that upsell inappropriately or that make things worse. How do you solve THAT problem?
That is why you start with your Market Dominating Position. It separates you from all the rest. It is not a platitude like Quality, Expertise, or we are Bonded. It connects with the emotional hot buttons of your clients.
And your outside marketing expert will never get that, unless you as the owner gets it. You have to know your client’s problem better than your clients do. When you can articulate it better than they can, they know that you know the solution.
Take the time, invest the energy to get really clear on your Market Dominating Position, and then see what happens when you promote your business. If you would like some help with your Market Dominating Position (MDP), consider joining the class starting in January 2022. You can embrace your (MDP) and generate new clients, new revenue, and new profits, WITHOUT spending more money on marketing and advertising.