Business Is Not The Place For Crystal Balls
If I hear one more person putting off plans until after Brexit or a wall is built or the snow goes away I may just have to call a No-Deal departure from dealing with business people writes dluxe Business Editor Bart Dalton.
Most of you have been working for many years in your selected fields and you will have seen so many problems, crises or perfect storms that you would need to take off your shoes and socks to count them but you are still improving your life and reading about making things happen. Pundits have been predicting that there will be horrible things that will happen to business and the economy of the UK.
Predictions and forecasting should give us even more focus to make successful businesses from the adversity and fear that our competitors are taking. Read below if you want to see how our teams are working with people to make sure that our clients are turning Crystal Balls into Power Balls and Taro Cards into Top Trump cards.
“Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential.” – Winston Churchill
How often do you and your team plan what it happening to your business. As a lazy over-achiever I want things to be as simple as possible so here is the plan that you can use to make sure that you power through perfect storms. Instead of battening down the hatches we are looking to point the ship in the direction of success and throwing up the spinnaker. Here are the three things to apply to your business.
1. Evaluate your last year’s business and choose 3 topics/products/packages to focus on.
2. Plan using a simple tool.
3. Share the plan and review monthly.
Evaluate your last year’s business. Have you heard of the term PPC in the marketing world? It stands for Pay-Per-Click and it is used to look at what a social media campaign is bringing you for every pound you are spending. In my world we are really driving towards a measure of Profit-Per-Client. Most businesses that are in the early stages of creating something that is too good to sell are focused on turnover. Then we move
onto the next stage which is profit and this is where most companies stop and they are usually successful, to a point. Now looking at scale ups and their ownership teams, we see teams with plans to capture a client base,
demographic or capture a competitor’s black book. What or who were your top three revenue sources last year? This is the first group of people or client types we’re going spend the most of our time on.
Plan using a simple tool. We have been looking for one-page documents to make sure that we are not using 27 page business plans that the banks are looking for when it comes to get funding. These end up under a pile of invoices, work orders and CVs. They are usually the document that is made after an away day or when the management team attends a seminar. Sound familiar?
Since I wrote the book, Grow, Sell and Retire, we have been approaching planning differently. We have 6 levers to make things happen. All of these levers come together on the OST document. It is based on Objective,
Strategy and Tactic. The objective is that big goal. It has to be as specific as you can make it. 15 new clients, generating £250,000 in business adding to the £450,000 which will generate PPC of £75,000 of profit.
The more specific you are the easier it is to ask your co workers and influencers to send you great new clients to help improve their lives.
Now that you have your objective the hardest part is to make sure that your team can deliver and feel that they are successful. Here is how we are doing it. Strategies are the 3 to 4 things you are going to turn your team
loose on. The normal things that you can put in your strategy to re-engage clients, sell packages, plan social media, segment clients, implement control systems (CRM, Online booking or ordering), Influencer/Introducer Marketing. This is not an exhaustive list but they show up about 75% of the time and have made it onto the past 50 OST sheets we have designed with clients. Give your team members a strategy each to report on monthly. They don’t have to do all the parts of the strategy, but they have to have a finger on the pulse.
Now you have these written down, so what? Here is where the rubber meets the road. Tactics are the things that you are going to do on a daily, weekly, monthly basis to bring the strategies and turn them into the Objective. These are so granular that they could be; call 5 clients daily, buy a CRM system and put in 30% of the clients, engage a business coach to build the next-level plan for our business(Shameless plug for us helping
you). These tactics are the things that seem simple but are easy to get lost out in the plan to make big changes. (HINT: Nobody likes change, but they do like make their lives easier.)
Share the plan and review monthly. Now that you have an OST style document, make sure that you diarise meetings monthly to bring the team together to address the points on the strategies to make sure that they have all the tools necessary to feel successful. Celebrate mile stones and make sure that when you complete or have a strategy under control that you may want to replace it with your next stage towards having a business that is too good to sell.
This practice would make Mr Churchill very proud. You will be able to weather the storms and your business will fight them on the beaches, in the air and most importantly all the way to the bank and hopefully you will have a lot more fun doing it.