When I was 9 yrs old, my dad would teach and show me the steps he used to help other entrepreneurs. It was all new and seemed foreign as a little kid who just wanted to play; however, my dad never gave up. He trained me even past my uncertainty, and his love for helping others became my love for helping business owners and watching their dreams of entrepreneurship grow. Today, two generations later, even my daughter has traveled all over the world in school while sharing her love for entrepreneurship through her fashion.
So, I set aside my business to help her, and being a wife with two kids was my focus. However, I noticed something was missing: my love for my own business was missing. So I started helping businesses again, but this time I was faced with a failed marriage and the death of my dad. By not dealing with my current reality, I not only lost money, but I went into depression as well.
I realized I wasn’t the only one dealing with this. It was scary to note that an article published in The Small Business Trends stated that “62% of business owners feel depressed once a week.”
Sadly enough, this happens everyday.
After speaking with numerous business owners, I knew I wasn’t alone. Even the most successful business owners have had this same problem at one time or another. So why so may was it the lack of systems, process, and procedures.
If I had placed systems, processes, and procedures into my business, then it could have still functioned successfully.
Every business owner asks the same question: “how can I grow my business?”
Shockingly, so many Business Strategists always tell them marketing is the answer.
The way I see it is that your business is like a bucket, and customers are the water in the bucket. Too often, these buckets have holes in it, and the water leaks out of it.
It doesn’t matter how much water you’re topping up into your bucket, if there are holes in the bucket it will always leak, and you’re continually going to be topping up your bucket because you’re still running out of water.
It’s not sustainable to keep topping up the bucket, especially since you’ve got many holes or big gaping ones.
In this analogy, marketing is topping up the bucket with water. Truth be told, after a while, this will become too hard, and you’ll collapse from exhaustion.
Unfortunately, I see that happen to many business owners – too many for comfort.
What we need to do is plug those holes first, and then fill the bucket. This way we’re not wasting valuable time, money, and effort into what’s clearly a recipe for disaster.
Which leads me to the next question: what if the marketing wasn’t the answer, or wasn’t the only answer?
This is precisely where the problem lies.
Unfortunately, business owners seek answers in the wrong places, like:
• Local Chambers of Commerce
• Networking events
• Family and friends.
All the different answers just give you stress, and you still really don’t know what to do—no real clarity, no systems, or actual processes to follow – and no growth.
There are no Cookie Cutter Business
Maybe, these business “experts” are leaving things out to sell you expensive marketing packages and then to up-sell you to another solution. Or perhaps they think all businesses use the same model and processes, even though we all know there is no “cookie cut” business.
Let’s start with the obvious.
Too many believe that a great marketing plan is an answer to grow our business. “All I need is just more clients, and that will solve my problem.”
So that’s what we do, and then we find out that we are not able to take on the new business because our systems, processes, and procedures are not optimized for growth.
So, now we notice we have no profitable business process to follow, and we humbly seek a strategic expert to guide us. I understand these same mistakes have happened to me too.
After working with hundreds of business owners over the past three years, I’ve noticed something that has been mistakenly left out that has cost business owners thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars, as well as wasted time and energy.
The Big Mistake
They are trying to grow a business without checking the six functional areas of business, according to Dr. Frank Mummolo of 6 Cylinder Success.
Generally, the six functional areas of business involves;
• Strategy • Sales & Marketing • Finance • Systems • People •Operations.
However, there’s one more function, and that needs to be considered to make sure not only your business is healthy but that YOU are as well.
Remember how 62% of business owners are dealing with depression every day?
Now we can break through that.
Most will focus just on the business side, but I look at the whole person. See, I know first hand that we are an asset to our business and family, so our health is essential to the success of our legacy.
I look at business strategically and holistically, but also at the individual level. I incorporate it into how I help companies find their hidden profits. I call it my D7 Growth Strategies.
Creating Powerful Processes, Procedures and Systems
The key to total business success is to systemize your entire business. Set your business, so it runs on autopilot. Take a look at McDonald’s, where everything is systemized from the ordering of condiments to the temperature of the fryer. The consistency of their food – anywhere you buy it from around the world – it always tastes the same.
Create an entire turnkey system for your business by identifying the opportunities where you can systemize your processes and then implement them. Cement them into your business’ daily routine, so they produce measurable results for years to come.
Most business owners have some things they do well, but they lack the systems to ensure that they produce consistent and optimal results from it. Allow my D7 Growth Strategies to show you.
The D7 Growth Strategies that are Powering Your Processes, Procedures, and Systems
We had a client that had a highly successful legal practice. They had developed a “successful” process for negotiating settlements of cases, which in turn drives their revenue and cash flow.
However, the problem lay in that it was not systematic; for example, when a vital member of the team left their firm, there was no system for effective knowledge transfer, and as such, what made them successful became diluted.
There were no metrics and measurements in place to enable the head attorney to identify any changes in success.
Just three months after the critical member of the team left, the practice faced a severe cash flow crunch.
After investigating the performance factors, we discovered that the former team member averaged $25,000 per week in collected revenue. In contrast, Negotiator B averaged just $15,000 – meaning a shortfall of $120,000 in only three months. Things like this would have never happened with the proper processes and systems in place.
Here is an overview of how to organize your business that will allow you to implement The D7 Growth Strategies within your company systematically:
Step 1: Discover the Current Reality of Your Business
Complete a full audit of your processes within your business. Here, we will dive deep into your business and give you the best steps to increase profits.
We start on your personal goals, by identifying the life you want and then mapping out the steps to help your dreams become a reality.
We set realistic goals and understand the triggers with cycles that block us and put steps in place to help you eliminate the blocks so you can move forward.
We use a profiling methodology that better helps you understand the process our emotions play and how they affect our business.
While you may do many things well, you also have tremendous opportunity to improve by creating systems that leverage off your successes and generate unbelievable profit increases from this powerful dynamic.
Look for areas in your business that aren’t systematized to see how to improve and ask “what if” questions to see how your ideas for improvement could play out.
Step 2: Define the Requirements for Onboarding Your Key Team Members
Here we look at the best timing and processes around hiring new members of your team and how to evaluate them even before onboarding.
Here are some tips to get more out of employees.
1. Evaluate tasks that your best employees (or you) do well – Are there any areas where one employee seems to outperform the others, and can it be taught to others to increase performance?
2. Evaluate what products or services warrant your resources, investment, and energy and focus on what represents your most excellent opportunity to increase revenues and profits.
Step 3: Determine your position and profitability for process improvement
Evaluate the top 5%-10% of your customers and identify why they produce the highest profits.
Often you will find characteristics about your top customers that are duplicatable, especially when it comes to how you service or sell to them.
ALL success is tied into a formula – you just need to find out what it is and duplicate it.
Step 4: Drive Sales and Marketing Campaigns
Develop your compelling competitive advantage or your strategic positioning, and make sure it’s used in all of your marketing efforts.
Evaluate past and present campaigns, selling techniques, and offers that produced more revenues than others, then document and duplicate the success.
One of our Real Estate clients has increased their business 300% since they started working with us.
They used to market to all agents to get them to join their team, but upon evaluation, they determined that the moderately successful agents were the ones that were the easiest to attract and convert.
Since they too have “time” availability issues, it only made sense to spend all their energy on these prospects. They have gone from 105 agents to 280 agents in one year and increased the average revenue per agent.
Step 5: Document Your Procedures and Processes for Duplicable Success
The missing link that’s keeping you from having a high-performance business. You can’t possibly produce consistent results unless you have a road map that employees consistently follow.
You can’t identify specific areas or elements that can be improved unless you have them documented.
You want to document your best practices so that you capture your most effective steps for all-important tasks. All too often, you have things that you do that produce excellent results, but you don’t document them.
If you don’t, then what happens if the person who performs that function or task leaves?
You can use the documented procedures as a training tool so that everyone who comes on board is taught the best practices in the same way. Reinforce the best practices in the minds of the manager who does the teaching.
You use the documented procedures as the foundation for all future improvements. Once you capture the best practices, you can quickly refine them when you come across better methods, so don’t worry about the procedures being perfect. Otherwise, you’ll never get them down.
Documenting takes place in two phases:
1. Prioritize the top opportunities
2. Break down the process and document it
Let’s have a look at these in more depth:
1. Prioritize the Top Opportunities; you must spend your time and resources on the highest and best use. A complete set of written procedures could easily take you 6 to 12 months to complete, or possibly even longer, therefore, you must focus on the two or three methods that offer the best opportunity and returns.
Start by making a list of all the areas where you’re doing well, but you might be able to improve. Once you’ve done this, number them in order of priority, and focus on the top two or three.
2. Break down the process and document it.
It will pay off very quickly once you’ve completed it and start following it.
1. Determine what they’re doing now.
2. Determine who or what is performing the best and model it.
3. Find out how others in the same situation are doing the same task.
4. Determine if the people who are supposed to be doing the action are doing it.
Step 6: Delegate Tasks to Your Dream Team
Once you’ve documented your step-by-step processes, the next step is to show your staff how to follow the new procedure.
Important to observe and monitor your staff to make sure they’re doing it right and consistently and where appropriate, reward the performance.
Then, run a workshop with your employees where they have to bring three ideas to the meeting on process improvement, and this way, they also have a vested interest in following the new procedures, as well as getting on the ground feedback on how the implementation is measuring up to expectations. Also, don’t be afraid to outsource.
Step 7: Design Your Exit Strategy
Planning an exit strategy is very important to know. Most CEOs don’t know how much their business is worth right now.
At any point in time, the best approach is to position your business for sale: this way, the focus shifts on identifying hidden profits and then investigating how to maximize all profits.
It’s vital to be on to the elements of the operating budget and how the P&L relates to it so that we can use it in planning. To have a proper exit strategy, you will need to know your break-even point, marginal contribution, and the golden triangle.
As you can see, the key to total and complete business success is to systemize your entire business.
Design everything in your business to run on autopilot and create an entire turnkey system for your business by identifying the opportunities where you can systemize your processes and then implement them.