Episode 1 - Are You Driving Your Business Or Is Your Business Driving You

Welcome to the first episode of The Naked Business Coach: Stripping Business Back to Basics. In our debut episode, host John Millar – Certified Business Advisor, Consultant, Speaker, Trainer and International Best Selling Author – talks about an important subject that helps carry things through whether you’re a new business owner, a yet to be a business owner or you’ve been in business for years, and that is whether you are driving your business or is your business driving you.

Drive Your Way to Business Growth

Growing a business can be challenging but a clear strategy and set of systems can take the pain out of your growth.

How do you do it?

Sit back and develop your vision. Ask yourself:

  1. What do you want your business to become?
  2. How will it behave?
  3. What will set apart from the competition?
  4. What would decide your growth plans?
  5. How do you go about setting targets and set realistic milestone to measure progress?
  6. Develop yourself as a manager and leader.
  7. Be prepared to grow as a person.

The first and one of the biggest challenges, especially in a business start-up, is time. You can overcome this by incorporating strong systems into your business.

Identify what you do in a day, week or month and work out which to delegate or outsource. Work out instructions for each of the activities including clear steps, standards and timings.

Aim to free yourself up at least one hour every day to work on growth plans and the system that will help streamline the work that needs to be done.

Strategize Key Areas of Focus

Incorporate into your planning the key areas of your business to ensure that the growth will be steady, managed, sustainable and highly profitable.

Think of your business as having four strategic areas:

  1. Production
  2. Marketing
  3. Management
  4. Resources

As a business owner, you are responsible of developing the strategies for these areas.

Introducing Systems to Your Business

Recognize that you need to implement systems is an important breakthrough. But before you can do that you need to systemize yourself and your own thinking. Without that, how can you expect staff, customers and suppliers to adapt the same principles?

In the beginning, the systems that will make the most difference will actually be deceptively simple and small ones.

Remember, its small things done consistently that have the biggest outcomes.

Gradually incorporate all systems and guidelines into a handbook so everyone knows what to do and where they stand. An example of a system is the “Exception Report”. Know if a staff can’t complete something by a given time as this may affect you and other team members. This way they are aware how their work impacts others.

Quick Tips in Planning Your Business Growth

  1. Look for opportunities outside the norm that will still fit your business framework
  2. Develop yourself and everybody around you
  3. Be absolutely committed and prepared to do whatever it takes
  4. Lead by example
  5. Plan for everything
  6. Systemize your business
  7. Put the right support structure in place. Employ those who compliment your skills not just replicate
  8. Be prepared to have the fortitude to turn away the wrong clients
  9. Find good advisors – accountant, book keeper, financial planner, etc.
  10. Develop a handbook for your policies and procedure

John’s Final Points

  1. Define every role within the business and delegate wherever you can.
  2. Care for and develop your people
  3. Really get to know ur target market
  4. Measure everything in your business
  5. Get a good business coach NOW! Find someone with experience in business, demonstrable history, a huge of level of support from existing clients and testimonials

Resources Mentioned:

Ebook – How to Turn Your Idea Into A Multi-Million Dollar Business

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us on our first episode! Don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates and leave an awesome review!

Until next time!

Subscribe-with-Itunes-Button substich

 

TRANSCRIPT: PODCAST EPISODE 1
Title: Are You Driving Your Business or Is Your Business Driving You?
Date Published: August 5, 2015
Running Time: 12:03 minutes
Hi this is John Millar and welcome to the very first episode of the Naked Business Coach. The podcast will re-strip business back to the basics. We’re here to help you and in fact today we will be talking about an important subject that will in fact carry things through whether you’re a new business owner, a yet-to-be-business owner you’d been in business for years and that is whether you’re driving your business, or whether your business is driving you.
Now, as I’ve said this kind of to give you a bit of an overview, but there’s quite a lot here. Growing a business can be challenging but a clear strategy and a set of systems can help take the pain out of your growth. There comes a point in most small businesses when the business owner stands back and acknowledges that it can no longer be classed as a startup. And it’s time for it to grow to the next stage, and that’s what I call a real business.
The challenge now is how do you do it? To do more of the same, or probably not. You’ve done a great job getting to where you are now, but to get to the next stage will need a much bigger plan.
What do you have to do first? I think you actually have to sit back and develop your VISION. WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR BUSINESS TO BECOME? HOW WILL IT BEHAVE? WHAT WILL SET IT APART FROM ITS COMPETITION? WHAT WILL DECIDE WHAT YOUR GREAT PLANS ARE AND HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT SETTING YOURSELVES TARGETS AND SET SOME REALISTIC MARKS FROM WHICH YOU CAN MEASURE YOU PROGRESS? These will include your revenue targets, the timeframe by which you’ll achieve it, how many staff you’re going to need, when are they going to join the business, whether you’ve got multiple outlets or offices, what level of profitability and so much more.
The key here is to map out a growth destination that is real but stretches you and it can be broken down into smaller goals. It is about breaking it down to bite-sized pieces. Planning growth in your business also needs you to work on yourself as a manager and as a leader. Be prepared to get out of your comfort zone as your business will be a reflection of you.
Your next task is to be really objective and honest about how the business is, right now. If you’ve just come out of an early start-up stage, to the still very much you-dependent. In other words, without you
there it would not be able to operate effectively, let alone grow. This is a wake up moment and a very valuable realization because you’re now able to ask yourself some key questions about what really needs to be in place for growth to happen. This is the time for action.
The first thing that’s going to be a challenge for you is TIME. Specifically, YOUR TIME. Without you dedicating your time to do business development, nothing is going to change. You’re going to have to create some time in your working week. Begin by identifying everything you do in a day, a week and over a month. Work out which tasks you can delegate or outsource. And if there is no one to delegate it to, you might consider into getting some office support of some virtual assistants even if it’s just for a day or two a week.
The next thing you’re going to have to do is actually introduce some STRONG SYSTEMS. Work out the instructions for each of the activities these persons or people are going to be doing. Imagine that they’re doing the work without you there to tell them what comes next and set it all out on paper. These instructions must include clear steps, standards and timings. That’s what a system really is. Make sure this system is recognizable as such and follows the same format. Aim to free yourself up at least one hour of your time every single time. And then when you’ve done that begin to work on your growth plans and the systems that will streamline the work that needs to be done. If you were to use that time to develop just one system, at the end of the week, you’ll have 5 new systems. At the end of the month, you’ll have 20 and so on. And it’s okay if you don’t get the chance to do one every day, even if you just did one week, the reality that one more system that you didn’t have before.
So what are the KEY AREAS of focus? Incorporate into your planning the key areas of your business that we’ll need to cover and to ensure that the growth will be steady, managed, sustainable and highly profitable. Once you have a plan and created your thinking and development time, look at what your business will need in order to grow. If the answer is more sales, then maybe you need to look at your marketing strategy. If you’ve got enough inquiries but you’re not converting them into business then examine what’s happening in your conversion process. If you’re getting great sales then you’re confident that your customer service can deliver products and services faultlessly and seamlessly each and every time. If not, start there. Iron out the glitches. There is absolutely no point in developing a marketing strategy to bring in more business, unless you know your business can deliver in its promises. Think of your business as having four (4) strategic areas: Production, Marketing, Management and Resources. Then break down those areas into key areas. To begin, with you need to be responsible for developing your strategies in all these areas.
Let’s take a look at the next one which is SYSTEMS FOR GROWTH. One you have begun recognizing that you need to implement systems and that it is an important breakthrough, recognizing that you need to implement systems is an important breakthrough. But before you can do that, you need to systemize yourself in your own thinking. Without that, how could you possibly expect your staff, customers, and suppliers to adapt the same principles? In the beginning, the systems that will make the most difference will actually be deceptively simple and small ones. Remember that small things done consistently that have the biggest outcomes. It is through these systems that many of the simple daily frustrations and obstacles that prevent things from running smoothly are actually eliminated. Gradually incorporate all these systems into guidelines into a handbook. Now everybody knows what to do and where they stand.
One of the most effective systems you can put in place is what you call your Exception Report. As most of the work we ask people to do is timeline based, we need to know if they can’t complete by something by a given time as this may affect you and other team members. This will then make everyone more aware of how their work impacts others.
Anyone wanting to grow their business must know their target market. You must really understand who they are, who they are, and what motivates them. And then document everything and anything that you do that impact that area. Don’t underestimate the importance of systems. This means as people come and go into the business, they need to know how things are done and that there’s a clear roadmap to follow. So here are a couple of really quick tips to sum it up.
As to some tips around growth planning your business:

  1. Look for opportunities outside the norm that will still fit your business framework
  2. Clearly develop yourself, your team and everybody around you
  3. Be absolutely committed and prepared to do whatever it takes
  4. Lead by example. Everything runs from the head down
  5. Plan for everything
  6. Systemize your business
  7. Put the right support structure in place. Unless you’ve got that support structure, you’re in strife. Employ those who complement your skills, not just replicate.
  8. Be prepared to have the fortitude to turn away the wrong clients. The last thing you need is to have people who cause 80% of your problems and generate 20% of your profits.
  9. Find good advisers. Get yourself really good accountant, bookkeeper, and financial planner. Get yourself a finance broker. Those advisers that are going to help you get solicitors. A good business accountant is gold.
  10. Develop a handbook for your policies and your procedures.

And the last few points. Number 1 of the final points. Get a good business coach. When? Today. If not, sooner. But make sure you get a good business coach who’s got experience in business, demonstrable history, a huge level of support from existing clients and testimonials. Don’t just choose someone because they feel good. And in fact I’ll give you a whole separate podcast on how to actually identify and choose the right business coach for you.
The next is to find every role within the business. The ones you have and the ones that you’re going to have. Constantly review your strategic objective and make sure that you’re keeping it on track. Develop systems for everything and never underestimate their value. Look at frustrations and complaints as opportunities to make yourself and your business better. They’re not just a way to criticize you; this is an opportunity for you to exceed your customer’s expectations.
The next, delegate wherever you can. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should do something.
Third last. Care for and develop your people. Your people will either help you or hinder you to grow your business.
Second last. Really get to know your target market. They are not just somebody with a heartbeat and a checkbook. They’re somebody that you can identify specifically who needs and wants your products now and is prepared to value them as well.
And last, but not least. What should you measure in your business? I say, measure everything.
So, couple of quick things to make sure that you go over these things again.
What should you systemize? Everything.
What should you look at? Every possible way to bring in those around you that can add value to your business.
And lastly, get yourself a good business coach. Make sure you get someone who guarantees their services and can offer you some serious value.
Now in our future episodes, I am going to take you through a huge range of how to’s, what to’s, what not do do’s and a great range are out there. We’ve got lots and lots of great things coming, you’re actually get a free opportunity to get a copy of my best-selling book, chapter by chapter, how to turn your idea into a multi-million business. We’re going to be giving you free audio books, a whole host of different things and make sure that you go to our website, www.ceo-ondemand.com.au and www.moreprofitlesstime.com