Category: Education

How Much of My Time Is Needed If I Hire a Fractional Chief Operation Officer?

How Much of My Time Is Needed If I Hire a Fractional Chief Operation Officer?

The most significant stress point for small businesses is TIME. Can my current business operate without me needing to be there every minute of the day? Can I take a two-week vacation? Can my employee take responsibility for the workplace?

If you can’t answer these questions, how long will it take to diagnose and fix the problems that keep you from living the life you want?

Usually, this challenge drives the typical small to mid-sized business to look for help because they don’t have the time or experience in-house to re-build, repair, or build the systems required for sustainable achievement. Using an Outsourced or Fractional COO is an excellent fit in these circumstances.

Once the top executive understands the workings of the IAS model, the question I often gets is, “How much of my time is needed if I hire you?”.

How Often Do We Meet?

Based on the scope of our involvement, we are on the ground in your business 1-6 hours per week. Working with you, your team members, contractors, etc., to identify, educate, and improve the ability of your business to operate without dependence on any individual.

This minimal time commitment results from our experience building operational efficiency in non-traditional businesses and knowing how to leverage the client’s domain knowledge to guide our efforts.

Early in the relationship, I invite my client champions to invest additional time by attending staff meetings we lead, participating in discovery sessions we facilitate, etc. I’ve found this extra involvement up front helps us form a productive working relationship and allows the client to get more comfortable with the new concepts.

Throughout this journey, the client sponsor and us stay in lockstep by focusing on high-level activities during our routine check-in meetings, such as:

  • Individual support plans for employees
  • Maintaining alignment
  • Reviewing the work products we produce and refining them as needed before roll-out.
  • Partnering on culture transition objectives.
  • Checking in on milestone progress and establishing the next set of goals.

What Do You Take Ownership of?

Most often, there are six phases during our involvement:

  • Discovery & Assessment
  • Design & Implement
  • Operationalize with Adoption
  • Evaluation
  • Adjust improve (introduce continuous improvement)
  • Continuous growth

After completing the Discovery & Assessment phase, we develop a plan to serve as our guide. We oversee the steps and actions necessary to create the change you brought us in for. With this plan defined, we’ll take full ownership of designing the agreed-upon work products and implementing them with designated members of your team.

We involve your employees during the design process to glean insights from their subject matter knowledge while also gaining their buy-in before new solutions are implemented.

During this heavy lifting phase, you remain at a high level yet aware of the changes by gaining updates during our routine meetings.

We focus on the key organizational competencies that most small to mid-sized businesses struggle with Strategy, Performance Management, Process Documentation & Improvement, Culture Alignment, Ownership, Trust, Communication, etc.

We work with your team to implement, evaluate, adjust and improve organizational behavior to create sustainable improvements.

How Do We Work Together?

While we’re in the trenches with your employees throughout the six phases described, acting on your behalf to ensure the proper changes are made and adopted. This is most effective when we develop a strong bond of trust, honor one another’s authority areas, and are committed to seeing changes through.

We guarantee that we can fix 1 of your top 5 problems in the first 90-days or less.

We have seen owners panic when the company isn’t completely fixed within 90-days. They grow impatient and feel drawn to undo the work. To avoid ending up at square one, leaving the new processes and systems in place is critical to gaining the desired outcomes.

The Best Outcome: Trusting Your Business to Succeed without you

We enter many small to mid-sized businesses every year. We’ve found that most business owners struggling to reach their goals are the same ones who are personally overseeing/involving themselves in all their departments.

Usually, that means late nights doing someone else job, making excuses for others, stressing out about sales, and trying to figure out what went wrong. Unfortunately, this often leads to a lack of focus, crunched windows of time, and a never-ending project load.

Imagine the time you’ll immediately get back by hiring an Outsourced or Fractional COO Leader! Not to mention how it will feel to be able to take time for yourself.

This freedom allows the owner or top executive to work “on” the business, creating a greater sense of impact and personal fulfillment.

You can actually take a vacation and not spend the entire time fretting about an order not being fulfilled or a project not being completed. No more sleepless nights filled with stress. You can enjoy time away knowing your business is going in the right direction to achieve the growth you’ve always dreamed of.

By partnering with a Fractional Chief Operations Officer, you are gaining a partner with the skills to create immediate impact while only investing a fraction of your time.

If you’d like to discuss the improvement you’re looking for in your business, contact me through these methods: (412) 397-7967 or doogie@ideasactionsuccess.com or book a slot on my calendar.

I also invite you to follow me on LinkedIn to gain exposure to future article posts that will offer more valuable insights.

5 ways to ask your clients about their problems (unintrusively)!

5 ways to ask your clients about their problems (unintrusively)!

Every business wants extended engagement or to sell their clients additional products and services. There are many fancy strategies to increase the initial sale like cross-selling, upselling, and subscription services; you get the point. 

 

However, if you really want to keep a client, you don’t need to sell them extra bells and whistles. Instead, what you need to do is solve their problems.

 

 In this article, we will discuss 5 strategies (opportunities) to discover additional problems and bring additional value to your people without making your people feel uncomfortable.

 

Problem Identifying techniques

 

Listen for the keywords.

When going through your prospecting, sales, or delivery of the experience, pay attention to what and how things are said. For instance, when people use words such as ” I think, ” I would like, ” it would be nice too. This is because they have opened the door for a question. So let’s explore this example:

 

Client “I think I rank well on google.” If you’re a marketer, the next question should be, how do you know? This creates an opportunity to engage in discovering how much they know and where their education gap is. Thus creating a chance to sell an additional solution.

 

In conclusion, study what language people use to understand when they have an unknown or none defined problem.

 

Magic Wand Sale’s Question

Now many consultants have some form of magic wand question. It could be if I had a magic wand that could fix any problem in your business; what would it fix? Or it can look like this, if we were celebrating a year from now, what would have happened in your business?

 

Getting your people to chat about what they want to see changed is key. They will describe something with more detail than my staff to their job or 5 million in revenue. Instead, they start describing a scenario where their employees know what to do, how to do it, ask fewer questions, and solve more problems. Now those are all tactical elements that be solved. 

 

The lesson to learn here is to get to the details and push the person to share how they think and feel.

 

Share your observations

This is my favorite way to learn more about a person because it takes a lot of finesse. In the first two, you were simply asking questions and listening for what and how they responded. However, here we’re going to share our responses.

 

I am going to share my simple steps on how to share an observation without offending others.

  1. Ask for permission “may I share an observation.”
  2. Shit sandwich, share something good, the observed problem, and the hope. 
  3. Shut up, let them speak; the key is to wait for them to agree
  4. Offer a solution
  5. Add it to the contract

 

I know this was highly simplified, but when done right, you can bring up the many additional problems you want to work on and solve with your client. Practice the steps above and see how things begin to change. 

 

Indirect Survey 

Many businesses use satisfaction surveys; however, very few genuinely use them well. We tend to only survey at the end of the experience, depending on what may be correct, but if you provide the ongoing or long-term service, it is best to have multiple engagement points. My cadence is 6 weeks in, 3-month mark, and then every 3-4 months after that. Once you have your sequence, it is time to discuss the questions.

 

When, how, and what you ask are the superpowers of an excellent survey. So many of us will use questions to understand how we did but rarely do we add questions about unmet needs. In this article, we’re talking about discovering additional problems; if you want help creating a kick-ass survey, feel free to reach out.

 

Here are a few questions to add to your next survey to get to their problems:

  • Was there anything that you expected but didn’t receive?
  • Please finish the statement; it would be nice if (insert company) did …? 
  • If (insert company) had a magic want that could solve your biggest problem, what would it be

 

Those are just a few of the ones I through into my survey, but the point when you craft these questions is to think about what would be helpful to hear. Think about adding this to your next survey, and don’t forget to follow up. 

 

Qualitative research

It is essential to discover precisely what your customers want. Conducting a qualitative market study includes mapping customer journeys and evaluating data regarding customer pain points. Some vital steps for conducting research are:

  • Map out your customer journeys gives businesses valuable insights and understanding regarding common customer pain points.
  • Create customer personas to focus your time on qualified prospects, guide product development per customer needs, and align all work across your business.
  • Holding focus groups with internal and external customers
  • Using survey data

 

You can do this while you’re currently engaged with a client, or you can do it before engaging. Information and education are the most important pieces when solving a problem. The more you have, the better equipped you will be to help your customers. 

 

The superpower of qualitative research is it provides you with a tool to discuss issues you have observed but have felt uncomfortable bringing up because of the level of emotional attachment. It allows you to turn those issues into objects, thus depersonalizing them. 

 

I hope you enjoyed this quick blog about my top 5 ways to ask your client about their problems. I look forward to connecting if you need additional help or want to discuss anything in this blog. 

 

Remember, the best time to change was yesterday, so you better start today.

Sometimes life and business are chaotic; which choice are you making?

Sometimes life and business are chaotic; which choice are you making?

Businessman with umbrella overcome challenge in chaos office. Mixed media

Do you choose to fight against chaos, or Do you decide to order your chaos?

Sometimes life and business are chaotic; which choice are you making?

In my former career as a summer camp director, as an industry, we used to use the term controlled chaos to explain what camp was like.

However, I was not too fond of this term; it was like we were in conflict with what we were doing and not truly in control.

In reality, we can control our experience by creating processes and systems to give all of our people the greatest level of preparedness as well as teaching them what to do if it does not go right.

My team and I created an intentional, repeatable experience through processes and systems. This was everything from a detailed schedule with employee roles to how, who, and when we communicate difficult information to our two client types (kids & parents) and how we handle a problem at the moment and after.

If your business is feeling crazy. Build yourself a system that can be replicated over and over again.

Let me know what is causing chaos in your business below?
#business #process #IASbiz #experience #summercamp

Why is signage important to your customer experience?

Why is signage important to your customer experience?

As I am sitting here at my favorite coffee shop. I enjoy the quiet, but I can’t help but notice when people use the restroom because they never know how to get in. 

People will stand there giggling the handle, waiting patiently, or knocking. Since I am a nice guy, I tell them, “you need to get a key from the counter.” I am usually sitting there getting work done; this process can be disturbing. I ask myself every time, why don’t they just put up a sign? 

Adding a sign that says, “Please get the bathroom key from the front counter,” could elevate this minor problem. My point is that signage is your passive communication tool for getting your clients/customers to do the things you want. 

Think about your sign on the door; it is designed to catch a person’s eye to entice them to walk in. The menu on the wall is to explain what options are available. Every single sign is about creating an ideal behavior. With all this in mind, here are a few tips on making and using effective signage in your business.

 

Tip 1: Design Your Sign to Convey A Clear Direction

 

A good sign tells a person where, when, and how to do a specific behavior. Therefore, it is essential to think of your signs as a sequence of physical actions—a step-by-step experience. You need to consider the person who will follow these directions, who they are, and what problem they have? 

 

Tip 2: Does Your Sign Tell Your Story 

What is your business identity? Why do you exist? What problems do you solve? A great sign can convey these messages. For example, take Royal Caribian Cruises. A few years ago, they rolled out their Live, Love, Cruise Campaign. It was to transition their brand from cruise vacation into a lifestyle.

 

If you walk around their ships, they have artwork, decals, and signage just to share and reinforce their beliefs. So when you think about your own location, consider what beliefs will support your companies identity.

Tip 3: Know Your Desired Customer Behaviour

 

Make sure you take the time to map out the action that is important to a successful customer experience. This may take the form of walking through your experience as your customer or creating a process map. It doesn’t matter but make sure you get into the head of your customers. 

 

Tip 4: Talk with a professional about all the above elements

 

Take your time to find a company that will understand your brand and the experience you want to create. Then, they will add their expertise to design signage that does all your desired outcomes and more.

A quick suggestion is to talk with my friends at Spark Signs and Graphics; they get that a sign is more than a sign. It is a visual story ready to be told. Here is what owner Alex Maurer has to say 

 

“When working with clients, we set out to understand their business and what challenges they are trying to solve. As an example, effective directional signage within a building – whether it is a corporate environment or a church – can make a visitors’ experience so much more positive when they get from point A to point B in an efficient and easy way.”

 

As you seek to create the best experience for your customers and yourself, make sure to consider these 4 tips. If you want additional help creating a business that thrives and generate the lifestyle you deserve, consider taking a test drive and see what our profit acceleration can do for your business.

 

Remember, the best time to change was yesterday, so you better start changing today.

Why is signage important to your customer experience?

Why is signage important to your customer experience?

Why is signage important to your customer experience?

As I am sitting here at my favorite coffee shop. I enjoy the quiet, but I can’t help but notice when people use the restroom because they never know how to get in. 

People will stand there giggling the handle, waiting patiently, or knocking. Since I am a nice guy, I tell them, “you need to get a key from the counter.” I am usually sitting there getting work done; this process can be disturbing. I ask myself every time, why don’t they just put up a sign? 

Adding a sign that says, “Please get the bathroom key from the front counter,” could elevate this minor problem. My point is that signage is your passive communication tool for getting your clients/customers to do the things you want. 

Think about your sign on the door; it is designed to catch a person’s eye to entice them to walk in. The menu on the wall is to explain what options are available. Every single sign is about creating an ideal behavior. With all this in mind, here are a few tips on making and using effective signage in your business.

 

Tip 1: Design Your Sign to Convey A Clear Direction

 

A good sign tells a person where, when, and how to do a specific behavior. Therefore, it is essential to think of your signs as a sequence of physical actions—a step-by-step experience. You need to consider the person who will follow these directions, who they are, and what problem they have? 

 

Tip 2: Does Your Sign Tell Your Story 

 

What is your business identity? Why do you exist? What problems do you solve? A great sign can convey these messages. For example, take Royal Caribian Cruises. A few years ago, they rolled out their Live, Love, Cruise Campaign. It was to transition their brand from cruise vacation into a lifestyle.

 

If you walk around their ships, they have artwork, decals, and signage just to share and reinforce their beliefs. So when you think about your own location, consider what beliefs will support your companies identity.

Tip 3: Know Your Desired Customer Behaviour

 

Make sure you take the time to map out the action that is important to a successful customer experience. This may take the form of walking through your experience as your customer or creating a process map. It doesn’t matter but make sure you get into the head of your customers. 

 

Tip 4: Talk with a professional about all the above elements

 

Take your time to find a company that will understand your brand and the experience you want to create. Then, they will add their expertise to design signage that does all your desired outcomes and more.

 

A quick suggestion is to talk with my friends at Spark Signs and Graphics; they get that a sign is more than a sign. It is a visual story ready to be told. Here is what owner Alex Maurer has to say 

 

“When working with clients, we set out to understand their business and what challenges they are trying to solve. As an example, effective directional signage within a building – whether it is a corporate environment or a church – can make a visitors’ experience so much more positive when they get from point A to point B in an efficient and easy way.”

 

As you seek to create the best experience for your customers and yourself, make sure to consider these 4 tips. If you want additional help creating a business that thrives and generate the lifestyle you deserve, consider taking a test drive and see what our profit acceleration can do for your business.

 

Remember, the best time to change was yesterday, so you better start changing today.

8 reasons your business is not growing, and it has nothing to do with sales, revenue, or profit

8 reasons your business is not growing, and it has nothing to do with sales, revenue, or profit

There are 30.2 million small businesses in the US, accounting for 99.9% of all businesses in the country. Even though they account for 99% of all business;

  • They employee less than half of the American workforce
  • The average annual business revenue is $46,978 
  • 86.3% of small business owners make less than $100,000 a year in income

It begs the question; what is holding back your small businesses from reaching its full potential and becoming multi-million dollar businesses. This series will discuss 8 reasons why your business may not be growing and the action you can take to fix it. Today we will discuss numbers one and two.

  1. Cash Flow
  2. Dependent Model 
  3. Supporting Relationships (Trust) 
  4. Waste/inefficiency
  5. Leverage 
  6. Lack of curiosity 
  7. Vision with a plan 
  8. A mirror 

Cash Flow

Cash flow is considered by many to number one business killer. There is a saying cash is king when it comes to your business; there is no more accurate statement. For those that don’t know this term:

 

The term cash flow refers to the net amount of cash and cash equivalents being transferred in and out of a company. Cash received represents inflows, while money spent represents outflows. A company’s ability to create value for shareholders is fundamentally determined by its ability to generate positive cash flows or, more specifically, to maximize long-term free cash flow (FCF). FCF is the cash generated by a company from its normal business operations after subtracting any money spent on capital expenditures (CapEx). (definition provided by Investopedia)

 

So how do companies get into cash flow trouble? 

  • Accounts receivable; you have provided service but have yet to receive the cash. Again, this usually comes down to your payment terms and your ability to collect whenever possible try to get full payment before or at least at the time of completion. 
  • Paying Bill First; we all hate owing people, but many businesses do not take advantage of the same payment terms. For example, if someone offers you net 30, 60 payment terms, take advantage of them and wait until the last opportunity to complete payment without accruing penalty. Also, consider renegotiating for a more favorable term.

There are many other ways to develop cash flow problems, but these are two of the biggest. Please take the time to review your cash flow statement & balance sheet see how your cash flow looks. Then, consider setting goals to improve your cash flow as a tool to increase the value of your company.

 

Dependent Model

Now that you have begun to conquer cash flow, the next step will be to make an independent business model. But, of course, you’re probably asking yourself what the hell does that means?

It means creating a business model that does not rely on you as the owner to push the buttons, pull the levers, provide the basic service. It is the philosophy of shifting from working in the business to working on the business. 

There are several reasons why owners struggle to make this transition; we will discuss a few today but remember there are many more, and it is up to create time to do the work and discover your cause and correct it. Today we will discuss the sphere of control.

This is a big one for most owners. At some point, you will get to the place where you can’t be everywhere at once and can’t interface with every client. This can be very tough because this usually means you need to hire middle management. It requires a different set of skills than the ones you have hired before but usually comes with a dip in profit. So what can you do about it?

The first step is to get organized and answer these two questions:

 

What do I need them to do?

Where is the information they need to get the job done stored?

 

Simply put, to create a stable sphere of control, you need to have a documented process with clear expectations, responsibilities, and most importantly, the information to be successful. The standard term for this is SOP’s (Standard Operating Procedures).

Creating your companies SOP’s or engaging these new hires in creating the first version can significantly reduce the mistakes, miscommunication, and headaches that occur.

I hope you have begun to see your opportunities to improve your business. As always, our fractional COO’s are here to help with these and all of your other operational challenges. Thanks for reading, and remember the best time change was yesterday, so you better change today. 

Is growing your business your goal? Then a COO should be your next hire.

Is growing your business your goal? Then a COO should be your next hire.

The right time to hire a chief operating officer (COO) is just before trouble appears in your company. But, unfortunately, the reality is that most businesses realize they need a COO too late.

Signs that you need a COO:

  • You spend too much time working in your business and not on your business.
  • You find yourself stopping business growth activities to maintain your everyday. 
  • You are feeling constantly overwhelmed and struggling daily in your company.
  • You know you need to strengthen and solidify your leadership team.
  • Your company needs to grow significantly in scale operations.

A COO — especially your first one — should come from outside your company. Insiders are typically part of the problems you are facing. However, they lack the perspective, required knowledge, skills, or experience to view your company objectively and with checked emotions.

The COO Position

A COO is quite different than any other employee in your company.

Typically, the leader of a company is a visionary. As the visionary, you operate best when thinking long-term, generating big ideas, fanning a fabulous culture, and cultivating strategic relationships. Without a COO, you become mired in the day-to-day operations, which can cause your business to stagnate, wither and eventually die.

A COO is your team’s number 2, your MVP! As your integrator and executor, the COO brings your entire company together to deliver products and services effectively and efficiently.

The COO is the quintessential “change champion.” They define needed changes, lead the change effort, manage the change and even celebrate the success of the change.

Your COO is your closest partner, coach, and mentor. The COO is trusted to run your company when you are not there. They have the ability to take your vision and execute it to an extent unimagined. As a coach and mentor, your COO not only supports your personal and professional business development but that of the entire company.

Your First COO

When you need a COO, you are looking for someone typically with years of experience and education — much more than most companies can afford for their first COO.

A COO is much more than a highly paid operations manager. However, companies typically make one or all of these four mistakes when they need a COO:

Mistake #1. Possibly the most egregious mistake is they hire the COO last. Instead, the companies prioritize the  CMO, CTO, VP of Sales before hiring their COO, causing an effect that leads to dysfunctional and siloed organizations without a clear vision and priority.

Mistake #2. Instead of hiring the C-suite executive they need, they seek a director or vice president of operations. This choice saves them an executive salary, benefits, bonuses, and perks. People hired in this role are expected to operate at the position of a COO without the title but usually cannot.

Mistake #3. They lowball the salary of their new COO position. This forces them to hire someone capable of being a director or vice president of operations but who will fail to meet the expectations of a COO.

Mistake #4. The company treats the COO position as if it were any other position within the company. Thus, the hiring process, benefits, bonuses, and perks all mirror those of most other employees.

The reason companies make these mistakes are because of two things. One, they cannot afford the true talent they need. They do not understand the inherent differences between this position and every other position in their company.

The first COO is one of the most critical positions to get right. Hiring the wrong COO can cause your company to struggle significantly.

Consider A Fractional COO

If you cannot afford what your company needs, how do you move forward? You cannot keep struggling in your visionary role while being the full-time integrator.

A fractional COO is a business professional with many years of experience willing to work in a temporary capacity, part-time. That would typically amount to the same as hiring someone full-time. However, you can bring on talent with experience as a business owner, business coach/consultant, or former full-time COO without all the costs. Fractional COOs might get paid the same as a full-time COO, but they bring to your company much more. Plus, there are many other benefits to contracting with a fractional COO.

Benefits:

  • A fractional COO will take a company through a process that produces the tools to answer the essential questions of how can we grow?
  • A fractional COO works in a hybrid model, saving you from creating a separate executive office.
  • Fractional COOs do not require an elaborate executive hiring process — thus, you do not have to build separate HR processes for just one position.
  • Being a contract employee, the fractional COO does not require executive benefits, bonuses, or perks.
  • A fractional COO creates a try-it-before-you-buy-it experience, allowing you to kick the tires and determine what you need from a full-time COO.
  • The fractional COO is there to work themselves out of a job — they focus on building your company so you can truly afford a full-time COO in the future, and they can even help you find and hire their replacement.
  • If the fractional COO does not work out, let them go — firing an executive can be a grueling situation fraught with cost and legal dangers, but allowing a contract employee to go is relatively easy.

If you take anything from this blog, invest in a COO if you want to grow your business, produce franchises, make a sellable business, or achieve whatever goal you have. They’re your partner who specializes in making your dream come true. 

If you want to discuss if your business is ready for a COO, click the link and sign up for a one-hour strategy consultation. Remember, the best time to change was yesterday, so you better make the change today. 

 

Wouldn’t it be Nice to Mind Your Own Business?

Wouldn’t it be Nice to Mind Your Own Business?

The concept of minding your own business means that while you are grinding away at your day job, you need to be investing in your future and minding your own business. Pretty soon, you’ll be able to walk away from that day job and mind your own business full time.

The best way to do this is through the acquisition of real estate. 

Let’s take a quick look at where you are losing all your money in taxes. Taxes have been around since the dawn of organized civilization. While the original intention was to only tax the wealthiest of the population, obviously, that’s trickled down to the masses, including those in poverty. 

Now, keep in mind the more money you make, the more taxes you pay. The wealthy know a way of getting around this by forming a corporation. Corporations offer tax benefits and protect you from lawsuits. To learn more about this, talk with one of our business coaches or your attorney. 

We’ve all heard the golden rule of Pay Yourself First.

But many of us don’t do it. Until you learn and put this rule into effect, you won’t have any chance of getting out of the rat race. What this rule does is force you to come up with more income to pay your expenses. 

There are some critical areas of finance you should learn about; taking classes is one of the best ways to do this. Here are the basics you should understand:

Accounting

It pays to know how to read financial statements. When acquiring businesses or assets, you need to quickly see the financial standing of the company you are acquiring.

Many grown adults do not know how to balance a balance sheet. In the long term, this knowledge will pay off for you and your business.

Investment Strategy

This skill will sharpen with experience. Talk to investors and observe how they play the game. 

Market Behavior 

Know the laws of Supply and Demand. No business owner can do without understanding these basic principles of the market. Bill Gates saw what people needed. Open your eyes to opportunities. Look at what sells and who buys.

Law 

Do everything you can to grow your business within legal boundaries. Know your corporate, state, and accounting laws.

Once you know these areas of finances, you can make them work for you. The rich practically invent money. You have to know where to find a great deal. Let’s continue with real estate. Look for houses in trouble or find the court in your area that handles foreclosed, police impound, or other real estate situations. You can either renovate and sell or rent for residual income. 

So, essentially there are two main types of investors:

  1. Those who buy pre-packaged investments
  2. Those who create their own investments

You know which are the most successful. To be one of those people, you need to know what to look for and how to respond.

You must:

  1. Find a good deal other people have missed.
  2. Raise the capital needed for the transaction.
  3. Put together a high-performing team to execute the plan.

There is risk involved in every acquisition. The goal is not to avoid the risk but to respond to the threat with confidence and a steady hand. 

If you need help identifying potential money-makers, where to get the capital you need, and how to put together an intelligent team, try our academy to access our resources and tools. 

Claim your free 6-months trial of our E-learning Academy by emailing Doogie at doogie@ideasactionsuccess.com. Offer is available to the first 12 respondents.

Win The Rat Race

Win The Rat Race

We’ve all worked jobs we hated. We were underpaid, underappreciated, and bored out of our minds. We either quit these jobs or were fired for poor performance because we just gave up. Instead of taking that approach, you need to consider every job an opportunity to learn something new that you can apply down the line to find success.

When you give people the tools they need to come up with unordinary solutions, you are enhancing their lives for the long run. What if one of your terrible jobs had been one with no pay at all, and you needed to come up with some ingenious ways of making money and finding value? 

You’re an entrepreneur, I bet if you were forced into this situation you would find a way to make ends meet and position yourself to reach your long-term goals. This same urgency can be applied to your company now.

I don’t recommend going into the next meeting declaring that no one will receive pay anymore. Instead, you can tell your employees that their potential raises, bonuses, and other perks are now dependent on their creativity in ways to enhance business. Present them with the opportunity and put success in their hands. This is the abundance mindset approach, it simply says there are infinite possibilities, resources, and opportunities it is up to us to see them and take advantage. 

Adapting an abundance mindset is integral to your success, the company’s success, and your employees. One way to start becoming abundance-minded is through a concept called financial literacy. A concept that sadly is not taught in school but is still essential to know.

 So, what is financial literacy? 

Our culture teaches people to be good employees and not employers. This mindset will never make you wealthy. Instead, you need to focus on becoming a good employer. You also need to learn how to not only attain wealth but sustain wealth for generations. This is what financial literacy is all about.

So, how do you get out of the rat race and start working toward a wealthier future? You need to understand the difference between an asset and a liability. Take a look at your own life, and you’ll probably find the following:


Assets

  • Real Estate
  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Intellectual Property

Liabilities

  • Mortgage
  • Consumer Loans
  • Credit Cards

 

You’ve probably been fooled into thinking things like your house, car, and entertainment system are assets. They aren’t! Assets should be continuing to make you money. When you continue to struggle, you are not building wealth. If your primary income is from wages and each time you make more money, you pay taxes, you’re not creating wealth either, are you?

So, if buying a house isn’t an asset (and it’s not because you spend about 30 years of your life paying it off), then what is? Here are some of the best assets to attain and when you can start to see wealth being created because of it:

Average time of holding on to an asset before selling it for a higher value:

One year

  • Stocks (Startups and small companies are good investments)
  • Bonds
  • Mutual funds

 

Seven years

  • Real estate
  • Notes (IOUs)
  • Royalties on intellectual property
  • Valuables that produce income or appreciate

 

So, here are the steps to getting out of the rat race and onto your journey of creating wealth:

  1. Understand the difference between an asset and a liability.
  2. Concentrate your efforts on buying income-earning assets.
  3. Focus on keeping liabilities and expenses at a minimum.
  4. Mind your own business.

If you need help getting out of the poor mindset and into the wealthy one, start by reading “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. Then schedule a call with one of our coaches to integrate wealth concepts into your company’s daily operations.

We went through the first three, and next time we’ll talk about how to mind your own business to keep your eye on the prize.

20,000 ft. to go until your next client

20,000 ft. to go until your next client

In my previous blog, I gave you a laundry list of tips and tricks you can use to make your word of mouth program work for you. Hopefully, you’ve had a chance to review and decide which one to three tips you plan to use in your campaign.

If you have not, make sure you go back and read the list, pick the tips and tricks the best fit your product/service, ideal customer, and company culture.

Today, we will wrap up this series on word-of-mouth, where we provide you with a 20,000-foot view of your campaign. 

Now, let’s get started building your campaign:

  1. Build your influencer network.
    1.  Find some way to get the product into the hands of key influencers. A good influencer is passionate about the problem you solve with your product/service and has access to 5000 or more of your ideal customers.
    2. Provide a channel or help the influencer to activate theirs, allowing them to share their experience.
  2. Review & Testimonials 
    1. Capture testimonials from the beginning and before they’re done with your service or product.
    2. Offers lots of testimonials and other resources.
    3. Develop clips on your website featuring enthusiastic customers talking with other excited customers. 
    4. Create an opportunity for prospective clients to meet past clients.
  3. Create an opportunity to share experiences 
    1. Form an ongoing group that meets once a year in a resort and once a month by teleconference.
    2. Create fun events to bring users together and invite non-users. Saturn, Harley-Davidson, and Lexus have all been successful with this approach.
    3. Hold seminars and workshops.
    4. Create a club with membership benefits.
  4. Gorilla 
    1. Pass out flyers. 
    2. Tell friends. 
      1. Offer special incentives and discounts for friends who tell their friends.
    3. Put business cards on all the cars you see
  5. Put the Internet to work.
    1. Do at least one outrageous thing to generate word-of-mouth. We live in an age of 10s video’s.
  6. Empower employees to go the extra mile.
  7. Encourage networking and brainstorming ideas.
  8. Run special sales.
  9. Encourage referrals with the use of a strong referral program.
  10. Use a script to tell people exactly what to say in their word-of-mouth communication.

These are all fantastic ways to get the word out about your products and services and start a word-of-mouth campaign that takes on a life of its own. However, before you can release your word-of-mouth campaign out into the world, you need to go through the checklist to make sure you’ve covered all the essentials.

Word-of-mouth campaign checklist:

  • Are all of your communications sending the same simple message? If it can’t survive word-of-mouth, it’s not a compelling story.
  • Is your product positioned as part of a category? Ex.”A dandruff shampoo that doesn’t dry your hair.”
  • Are your examples outrageous enough to be shared?
  • Do you enhance your materials with success stories from real people?
  • Are you using experts effectively and in an objective manner?
  • Have you created mechanisms so people can follow up on the word-of-mouth they hear, as well as simple ways of inquiring or ordering?
  • Have you made the decision process easy for customers?
  • Have you created events and mechanisms so that your prospects hear about your product/service once a year, and it is easier to try or buy?
  • Have you written down the specific behaviors you want your prospect to follow during each step of the campaign?
  • Are your people primed? 
  • Am I ready to handle all the additional communication?
  • Am I ready to handle all the additional business?

These are essential elements to keep in mind when taking a second or even third check over your word-of-mouth campaigns. I hope you’ve found this series on word-of-mouth to be a great resource and are getting ready to put it into action for your products and services.

Remember, if you need help with anything in this series, try our FREE test drive to gain access to the best resources, tools, and business coaches you can find.