Many of the small business owners I speak to want to grow but they are struggling to find staff. The story they are telling themselves is what the media tells them about employees:
- They are afraid
- They like unemployment
- They’ll never go back to work
- No Talent
So, Owner’s panic and they hire the first warm body that they like, that shows up. And 90 days later they are lamenting about how there is not any talent.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Before you even run an ad, determine what you need from the new employee. That’s why they write job descriptions. This is where you define duties, expected skills, and attitudes that an ideal employee will have. This will help you to screen for the right candidate.
Next ask yourself some questions:
- Do they really need 5 years of experience? I promise you, my first several jobs I had zero experience. I did not know how to operate a lift to put a car in the air to change the oil. I did not know how to drive the forklift. I needed to, in order to unload trailers. Nor was I a professional salesperson until I was. Someone taught me those skills. Yes, training employees takes time but then you get the employee that is ideal because you taught them.
- If you need experience, ask yourself what might frustrate them about the current place of employment? How can you provide a better place of employment? Yup, you are going to have to market to employees just like you market to clients and customers. Employees right now have more choices. So how can you become the employer of choice?
- Can you offer Benefits
- Can you give them Time
- Can you offer them Flexibility
- Can you give them Autonomy
- Or provide Professional Development
Right there, are five ways you can differentiate.
- What have you tried that’s different? Indeed, Monster and the other job boards don’t really get to the market. Have you asked your Facebook and LinkedIn Communities? People know people who are looking for jobs. And if you really want someone, you can hire them.
We are not going back to the good old days. This is one of those periods of change and decision.
- Are you willing to adapt?
- Are you willing to grow into the new future?
If so, you need a team. So, take the time to think (TTT) and really get clear on the kind of people you want. What the minimum skill and experience really is. Consider someone with different experience that you can start training and then how can you provide a path to professional development. How can YOU become the employer of choice?
If you would like some help with this let’s schedule a chat. http://ras-squared.com
Do you remember a Snipe Hunt? One of the initiations into Boy Scouts was to send the Tenderfeet out on a Snipe Hunt. This was where the new guys were sent out at night to find and bag a Snipe.
From the Oxford Dictionary
- a practical joke in which an unwitting victim is sent in pursuit of something that doesn’t exist.
- “one or two gullible youths are selected to participate in the notorious snipe hunt”
- a foolish or hopeless search for or pursuit of something unattainable; a wild goose chase
You can watch the video or read the rest below.
I can remember my first hunt. I was a new Tenderfoot in Boy Scouts and we were out at Camp Nash. Joey and I were excited. About thirty minutes in, we knew something was off. And sure enough, the older scouts were having a hoot at our expense as we scoured the woods at night, looking for the elusive Snipe.
I see too many owners pursuing the elusive Snipes in their business. They are posting meaningless “look at me and my business” posts on Facebook or other Social Media sites. Or they are drinking gallons of coffee networking and wondering where the business is. Or they are spending dollar after dollar in one form of advertising or another without really knowing who their ideal customer is and where they are, in order to message them.
Or there is the business owner that has grown to the point where they now are working 60 – 70 hours a week trying to keep up with the workload of delivery and the back-office work necessary to keep the business running. All because they haven’t taken the time to hire the right people and then to have the policies and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) so the business can run while the owner is not in the shop.
I get it. Many owners are busy. And, if they can take an hour or so once a week to 1) Identify the key systems and processes that drive their business. 2) Start writing out the steps to fulfill each process. 3) Have each process reviewed by the people that will be performing the process. 4) Storing these where they are accessible for everyone that needs access.
For all of you gloriously self-employed, congratulations… you have a different kind of job. Creating a business requires that you step out of the business on a regular basis to work on the business so it can run when you are not there.
Being busy is a Snipe. You can’t escape being busy. But you can become more productive and focused by taking the time to identify and then to optimize the processes that drive your business. Do yourself the biggest favor. Schedule two hours a week to step out of your business to focus on your business. Your family and your bottom line will thank you.
And if you would like access to some resources to help, you can check out the resources at www.ras-squared.com
I wrote earlier about how one key to building a solid client service plan is to decide what your vision is.
Here we’ll talk about the second step in taking your satisfied clients and turning them into raving fans. You have to know what your clients want. When you know who your clients are, you will know better how to serve them. Understanding the demographics are really important here. A higher income earning woman in her 30’s is going to have completely different expectations than a working-class man in his 50’s.
There are four areas you want to consider and think about when figuring out what your clients want:
- Listen to Your Clients
- Ask Your Clients Sincerely
- Offer More than Just a Product/Service
- Know When to Ignore Them
These are all important when deciding what your clients want out of their experience with you.
Listen to Your Clients
You want to listen not only to what is said but also to what is not said. Clients often say they want one thing and really want something else. For example, if your clients are asking for lower prices, you may discover that their real need is a low-risk engagement.
Also, listen to your “quiet” clients. These are the ones that don’t bother to complain because they feel that the service was so bad they’ve just given up. Or, don’t feel like their voice matters. A way to do this is to survey clients or check in after a service delivery to ensure they are satisfied.
When clients say “fine” LOOK OUT. This is typically code for, “I don’t care enough to respond”.
Ask Your Clients Sincerely
People know what you’re thinking even if you don’t say it. I have a client that calls his client’s 2 – 3 days after service to ask how the product is working and how was their experience. Lately it has been via text as it gets a better response rate. Ask them questions that get them thinking about their experiences. Let them feel that you care!
Offer More than Just a Product/Service
Your clients are often looking for much more than a product or service, they are also looking for an experience. For many of my clients where they are technically very smart, this means learning how to use emotional intelligence to connect with clients. To allow their clients to “be heard” even when you already know the answer. This helps clients contribute to their solution.
Know When to Ignore Them
This sounds like it goes against providing good client service, but the reality is, you can’t give them everything and some people you cannot satisfy. This is where being clear on your niche, and how you serve them, is important. If you encounter a potential client that doesn’t fit your vision and the work that fits your superpower, they are not going to be happy. They will be happier somewhere else.
If you get stuck, take a tour of our resources, and let us help you through the process.
Let’s look at the e-myth and see if we can debunk the myths. of e-myths a to help you avoid falling into the e-myth trap.
First, what is an e-myth An entrepreneurial myth, or e-myth, is an assumption that anyone can succeed at business with:
- Some capital
- Projected a targeted profit
This is just not realistic. Think of starting a business as a marathon. Sure, everyone starts out of the gate at record pace, but after a few miles people start slowing and some drop out entirely. Building a successful business takes stamina and agility, grit and perseverance. AND, it takes a skill-set and mind-set.
The reality is that there are many different facets to a successful business and none of them can be ignored if you plan to find success.
Let’s explore the roller coaster of emotions that comes with starting, nurturing and the potential failure of a business.
The emotions that occur, in order, are:
- Sense of self-loss
This is usually caused by the e-myths and assumptions we talked about. You can get your hopes so high on instant success that even the smallest lag and you are sent into an emotional tailspin. This is also brought on by the stark realization that you can’t do it all and will need help in the areas where you don’t have the knowledge. Now, faced with limited choices you may feel like you need to back out and hide, but don’t do this.
Use our FREE test drive to get the business coaching you need to avoid feeling overwhelmed and defeated.
Your Word of Mouth marketing is NOT enough!
I can’t tell you how many business owners tell me that they are super thrilled with their word of mouth marketing. BS!!! (Belief System). They just don’t want to spend the money.
Data from Harvard Business Review shows that while people ask for referrals and are promised referrals, very few customers actually provide referrals. Be honest. How many referrals did you ask for? Probably not many. How many did you get? Probably even fewer.
Do you really want your business to rely on the good will of others? Do you want to be dependent upon someone else remembering to say something good about your business? That is leaving a lot of your success up to somebody else.
When you rely on word of mouth marketing, you are NOT in control of your destiny, period! If you ever want to sell your business, your word of mouth reputation is not sell-able. That is not something a new owner can replicate.
Does that mean word of mouth is bad? NO!!! It is a great indicator to tell you that your customers do like what you are delivering. You need to think of how you can make your lead acquisition consistent and controllable BY YOU! If you are going to rely on word of mouth (please do not let this be your only channel), stack the odds in your favor with incentives and reminders.
Does this mean you have to spend a lot of money on marketing or advertising? No, it does not. What it means is that you want to get clear on who your ideal customer is. I know you have heard this and most of you have not done it. Be honest. Just because they can fog a mirror, does not mean they are a good customer. But when you are clear with who they are and what problem of theirs you can solve, whenever you communicate to the market be it your existing customers, your networking events, your FB groups or your advertisements, now they hear you and they want to speak with you. When you can describe their problem better than they can, they say to themselves, “She gets me.” “She knows how to help me.”
A mentor of mine once said, “When you dial your marketing in, you create magic. You can predict your future.”
Don’t leave your future in the hands of somebody else’s good intentions. Let’s talk about how you can create a message so compelling, they are calling you!
If you would like to learn how you can do this visit my free video everything you know about marketing is wrong and learn how you can stand out in the marketplace