Want to grow your business and don’t know where to start?
You firstly must understand that you are not your business. Your business is an entity in and of itself.
Yes, you created it, but in order to be successful, you must turn it into a self-sustaining entity.
Reaching the next level requires more than just a product or service specific to your technical skills and experience.
You need tools and a system to optimise your people, processes, execution, management and communication.
You need strong guiding principles (core values) that will work for your business, every day.
As a small business owner, it can be a lonely and stressful place, but it doesn’t have to be!
Grow your business with less stress, by using the following 5 transformational steps.
“People are not your most important asset. The right people are. Get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.”
This is one of my favourite quotes from Collins’ superb second book, ‘Good to Great’.
It sums up the importance of choosing, then leading, your ‘A-Team’.
You cannot grow a great business without great people.
Be truly honest with yourself….are all of your people the right ones for their jobs?
The reality is that some are probably harming your business more than helping, and providing sleepless nights.
But guess what?
You put up with them as it is ‘too hard’ to find them a place which works best for them….and obviously you.
Time to take some ‘courage’ pills and make the hard decision of letting people go.
I get that the employment market is tight and hard to find anyone, let alone ‘A-Players’, but it’s time to shift your mindset and create an environment where people want to come, stay and invest their energy towards common goals.
You cannot change things overnight, but you can change…..and guess what, you will get different results.
Start with the following;
- Get clear on your purpose or WHY (read ‘Start with Why’ by Simon Sinek)
- Talk about your core values every day using stories and if you don’t have core values, get your leadership team together to articulate using verbs (don’t just have words that either mean nothing or can be misinterpreted)
- Introduce a hiring process - if you don’t have one, design one. Hire for the right people, not necessarily their technical skills. Your core values and purpose should be part of this process
- Have a listen to David Reid from Business 360 in episode 256 who talks about the “Human Element” of hiring.
- Introduce an onboarding process if you don’t have one - invest time in your new employee’s first week’s, and set them up for success in their journey with you. “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression”
- All your team must be crystal clear on their role, outcomes and performance metrics….including yourself
- Documented career pathway for clarity - too many employees leave due to not having a clear understanding of their opportunities
- A communication structure is critical, as every successful relationship is built on regular and transparent communication. Meetings are an important part of this, but must be of value, so ensure you have a meeting agenda and allocated times for each agenda item….move on to the next agenda item when the time is up!
- Pay your ‘A-Players’ more attention and money. This comes with increased productivity and better outcomes as your return on this investment. Short term bonuses do not work.
- Sleep at least 7 hours every night, eat well and exercise, for your health and wellbeing - you must look after yourself so you can look after your team
2.VISION + STRATEGY
Successful business owners not only have a compelling vision for their business, but also know how to communicate their vision to their team. You must never assume they know your vision.
They get everyone in the business seeing the same picture of where the business is going and how it’s going to get there. It sounds easy, but it’s not, unfortunately.
Get everybody in your business to focus on your vision, and pull everyone’s energy towards this vision…if everybody is on the same page, amazing things will happen.
Start with the following;
- What is your 10 year goal? Make it Big, Hairy and Audacious! Your BHAG.
- ‘Paint a picture’ (vision) of what you want your business to look like in 3 years time, including the following;
- Key Performance Metrics (KPI’s)
- Your products and/or services
- Number of employees, roles and responsibilities
- Geographical locations
- Major equipment purchased
- What is the one goal to achieve in 3 years time?
- Work back from your 3 year vision, and identify what your Wildly Important Goal (WIG) is for the next twelve months (see the Execution phase below for further details)
- Who is your target market and how do you deliver your products and/or services to them to ensure they have an amazing experience (from when they first know of your business through to post purchase). Have a listen to Amanda Jones on Podcast #253, where she talks about the five Es in the customer experience journey QFF - Amanda Jones
- Being crystal clear on your target market provides all your team with the ability to say NO, which is critical for sustained growth.
- Is your business & financial model (including pricing) appropriate for your target market? We love the ‘Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers’ approach developed by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur, as part of their ‘Strategyzer’ series.
3.Systems & Processes
Your systems and processes are your WAY of doing business.
Successful businesses define their WAY clearly and constantly refine it.
Unfortunately, most business owners don’t understand how powerful systems and processes can be, but when you apply it correctly, it works like magic, resulting in simplicity, consistency, scalability and profitability.
You will never grow your business successfully by keeping your processes in your head and winging it as you go.
One option to assist you with systemising your business is David Jenyns ‘Systemology’ structure and his systemHUB | Simple SOP Software.
The most recognisable business on the planet that was built on systems and processes is McDonalds. In fact, the foundation of every franchise is systems and processes, and that is where the value is at for franchisee’s.
4.Know Your Numbers
The best leaders rely on a handful of metrics to help manage their business. The less is more approach!
Knowing these numbers frees you from the bullshit of managing personalities, egos, subjective issues, and emotions.
These are your key ‘drivers’ of your business and where a difference can be made.
A ‘Scoreboard’ is important for your team which might include metrics such as revenue, gross profit, Wages to Gross Profit %, Advertising spend etc, in addition to some relevant lead measures.
You don’t play a game of sport without a scoreboard, why do that in Business?
Start to set targets for your team with respect to these metrics, with rewards should they achieve the targets. We like three monthly targets to ensure the time frame is not too far out and therefore, helps maintain the focus and motivation.
The most successful business leaders are the ones that execute well on their strategy and goals, and they know how to bring focus, accountability and discipline to their business.
Due to fear and lack of consistency and discipline, execution is typically most businesses' weakest link.
The inability to make a business vision a reality is widespread!
There must be a team approach with focus and everyone rowing in the same direction.
We utilise and promote the ‘The 4 disciplines of execution’ approach by Sean Covey and Chris McChesney.
Discipline 1: Focus on the Wildly Important Goals (WIG’s)
- Focus on less so that you can achieve more
- Narrow the focus to one or two WIG’s, then the team can easily distinguish between what is truly the top priority and what is the whirlwind of running your business each day
- To help determine your WIG, begin by asking “If every other area of our operation remained at its current level of performance, what is the one area where change would have the greatest impact and where the greatest results are desired?”
Discipline 2: Act on the lead measures
- These are the tracking measurements of the WIG’s
- Measures of the high impact things your team must do to reach the goal
- It’s predictive of achieving the goal and it can be influenced by the team members
- Defines the leveraged actions that will enable the team to achieve that goal...they act like a lever, making it possible to move that rock...finding the right lever can be difficult
- Requires you to define the daily or weekly measures, the achievement of which will lead to the goal. Then each day or week, your team identifies the most important actions that will drive those lead measures.
Discipline 3: Keep a compelling scoreboard
- A player's scoreboard will drive the highest levels of engagement with your team
- If your team doesn’t know whether they are winning the game, they are probably on their way to losing
Discipline 4: Create a cadence of accountability
- The cadence of accountability is a rhythm of regular and frequent meetings of any team that owns a WIG
- Team members must be able to hold each other accountable regularly and rhythmically
- The secret is for team members to create their own commitments, and make these commitments to their team members, not their boss.... shifts emphasis from professional to personal and is powerful!
Please get stuck into the above 5 key areas to grow your small business with success and less stress.
If you don’t, you will always struggle with time and money and that is shit !
Register for our ‘Business Growth Formula’ course now as this will help get you focused on the above five. There is …limited numbers for each cohort, so don’t delay