Category: Startups

Business 2.0 Replace Yourself

Business 2.0 Replace Yourself

Prototyping is not just for building robots. It should be an integral part of every entrepreneur’s plans. It should be every business owner’s goal to have their business run without them needing to make a decision. 

This is why it is imperative to think of your business as a franchise prototype. This business development method allows you to remove your emotional attachment from your business’s tasks and focus on your desired outcome.

The seven specific areas you need to consider in your business development prototype process:

  • Primary Aim
  • Strategic Objectives
  • Organizational Strategy
  • Management Strategy
  • People Strategy
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Systems Strategy

These seven areas are the step-by-step process through which you convert your existing business into a perfectly organized model for thousands more, just like. In this lesson, we are going to cover the first three steps. Get your pen and paper ready to start creating your prototype.

Primary Aim

Your primary aim is the answers to all the questions. It is not just the target but the arrow, the bow, the water bottle on your hip, and the reason you got out of bed. Simply put, it is the purpose that is bigger than your business.

It’s essential in business development to set goals and see a vision for the future. This needs to go beyond the business, and you need to think about what you want out of life. How would you answer the following questions: 

  • What do you dream about?
  •  How do you see your success unfolding? 
  • Who do you wish to be?
  • What is your ideal lifestyle?

Knowing and understanding your aim will give you the momentum to get started and the stamina to see it through. Take a minute to write them down and tape them to your desk for a constant reminder of what you’re aiming for.

Ask yourself every day, how am I meeting my primary aim?

Strategic Objectives

Once you have the picture of how you want your life to be and realize it is more than fancy cars, big houses, and that it is a state of feeling. Then it is time to set strategic objectives. These are essential in taking your business from surviving to thriving. All of these objectives should offer solutions for how to get to your primary aim. There are many things you can use to set strategic goals, but here is a couple of the most popular:

  1. Money: Setting monetary goals is a great, simple way to see how you are doing at any point in the game. It’s easy to measure and easy to find adjustments to help meet this goal.
  2. Worthy Opportunities: These are emotionally driven goals. This is how you measure lives impacted; client served, positive reviews, in essence, you speak to your customer’s psychographics needs and, to a further extent yourself.
  3. Through or Throughput: This is your automation goal of removing yourself from the day-to-day equation. We will measure this by hours worked, emails answered, or any way you wish. The critical piece is that these goals get you to business Nirvanaha when your business work for you and you don’t have to work for your business.

The key to setting standards and goals is not to limit yourself or stress yourself out. You need to find some quantifiable things you can use to measure your progress toward your primary aim. These are just three suggestions, but make sure no matter what standards you set, you are paying attention to the details, as these are one of the biggest keys to your success.

Organizational Strategy

The strength of your organizational structure can make or break your business, so it’s essential to take the time to put together a solid framework for your business to grow from. Generally, a company is organized around the roles and responsibilities that need to be taken care of daily. And the personalities that need to fulfill those roles. 

No matter what roles and responsibilities you’ve defined for your employees, you must always keep your primary aim separate from your company’s primary aim or mission statement. Once you’ve identified the primary aim for your company, it will be easy to set up a position structure that will work.

Don’t forget to put together position contracts. Your employees should sign a statement of their roles and responsibilities. This helps keep them clear for you, the employee, and other employees/vendors or other individuals.

Question & Actions 

You’re probably going, wow, I have a lot to do. Well, you do but let’s create some action steps to get you started.

  1. Answer the big question: What is my primary aim? This is more complex than just answer the question, but what you need to do is create your first draft. Take a stab at it, write it down, and test it for the next few weeks.
  2. What are my strategic objectives? Create one goal in each category and start tracking it. Set aside time each week to review and see how you’re meeting that goal.
  3. How can I automate or replace one job I do? Set a goal to automate, delete, or replace one task that you currently do. Then give yourself a timeframe to do it. Then repeat until your business is running itself. 

You can see how these areas all work together to build a solid structure to build your business. If you need help defining any of these areas, don’t hesitate to contact us. Look out for the next four steps in a later blog.

Lesson Learned from a Toddler

Lesson Learned from a Toddler

My first career was as a youth professional. I spent over ten years working in everything from boarding schools to summer camps. I learned a lot about people, empathy, behavioral development, but I also learned the most important business lesson.

Let me paint a picture for you. Imagine you are a parent trying to get your child ready for bed. I bet your conversation goes a little something like this:

Parent: “It’s time to brush your teeth.”

Child: “Why?”

Parent “Because we brush our teeth at bedtime.”

Child “Why?”

Parent “Because we want to have healthy teeth.”

Child “Why?”

Parent “So we can…chew.”

Child “Why?”

Parent “Because you don’t want to starve.”

Child “Why”

Parent “Because I am going to throw you out of the house right now if you don’t brush your dam teeth!”

All jokes aside, as a parent, this may seem very frustrating, but as a business owner, this is the most important lesson you can learn that questions are powerful.

Why and Business

Only when you follow the course of question will you discover your business purpose, how to overcome its challenges, and what your client genuinely want. Learning to be curious is one of the essential skills to develop as a business owner.

Being curious should be applied in many areas. We will spend some time exploring a few of them.

Purpose

You should always be asking yourself:

Why am I doing what I am doing? 

Why does this help me to be a better person?

Start with one of these questions and repeatedly ask the same question at least seven times. Going through the seven stages of why will unlock your sense of purpose and correct any sway you might have as you go through your entrepreneurial journey. 

Whenever you’re feeling doubt or unsure, just ask yourself why and keep asking until you can take an action step in the right direction for your goals.

Decision Making/Problem Solving

I think this is the most obvious place to use the power of why. It should be used in two crucial ways problem solving and decision making. However, to use it properly in these situations, you will need to ask more than why questions instead. I suggest adding the following:

Problem-solving (Why?):

  • What will we need to change?
  • How can we prevent it?
  • Who do we need to coach, train, hire to make sure it does not happen?

Decision Making (Why?)

  • How is this insert job/task/project important to meeting expectations/goal/bottom line?
  • What will we need to change to implement?
  • What area of our business will be affected by this change?

Clients 

The final area we will chat about today is understanding your client. It is imperative to understand your client’s motivation, desires, hooks, triggers, pain points the list can go on. The best place to start is, you guessed it, with the why. Here are a few of my favorite client-related why questions to get you to solve problems for your ideal client?

  • Why does my client have the problem they have?
  • Why do they want to get rid of this problem?
  • Why am I the right person to help/solve/serve my clients?
  • Why is my solution the best/optimal solution?

Now that you understand why “WHY is so important. Find your inner child and ask why then keep asking why until you don’t know the answer. This is the point that you have identified the real problem and begin to make the lasting change in your business & life.

Looking to get your business to work for you instead of working for your business, check out my E-learning marketplace, which is filled with great tools, tactics, and strategies that will have you doubling your sales, cutting your cost, and increasing your annual revenue by 10k or more!

Ask yourself: Why should I invest in myself and my business today? Want to find out more about the coaching? Schedule your discovery call today!

Expand the Life of Your Business

Expand the Life of Your Business

Business Growth is like life

Let’s talk life cycle, specifically your business’s life cycle, and how to get the most out of each stage while also extending your business’s lifespan. Many of you probably are unaware of the business life cycle.

I first heard of this concept while reading the E-myth by Michael Gerber. The book is filled with many great ideas, and one of those is thinking about your business as if it has life stages. He expresses there are three different stages:

  • Infancy
  • Adolescence
  • Maturity

I like to add a fourth business stage, Retirement

We’ll talk a little about each stage, the characteristics, and how understanding where you are can help expand your business’ lifespan.

Infancy

Geber would say you are in the technician’s phase. At this point, the relationship between the business and the owner is that of a parent and a new baby. There is an impenetrable bond that is necessary to determine the path your business will follow. 

Your business is fragile, small, and mostly reliant on you to keep it alive. You spend long hours confused, doing everything. You’re intensely focused on survival and living day by day. Dropping the metaphor for a minute, here some characteristics of an infancy business:

  • You have yet to hit your breakeven point.
  • The owner and business are one and the same; if you disappear, so does your business.

The key is to know your business must grow by finding a way to replace your technician tasks.  You cannot stay in this stage forever.

Adolescence

In this stage, you begin to become the manager; you need to start bringing your support staff together to delegate to and allow growth to happen. The first line of defense is your technical person, as they need to replace you or exceed the experience you brought. 

This is the point in every business when business explodes and becomes chaotic. This is referred to as growing pains. It’s a good problem to have, but a problem nonetheless. You are often faced with many choices:

  • Is it time to invest in bringing in the staff to grow your business or remain small
  • Is it time to give responsibilities to your subordinates, trust them to care for your baby like you?
  • Is it time to make long-term plans?
  • Am I ready to embrace the change?
  • What do I want my business to look like? 

 

To progress to the next stage, you must move from the world of tactics to strategies. Start creating plans and commit to them. You need to find your inner business owner.

 

Maturity

According to Gerber, the last cycle is maturity, though this doesn’t mean the end of your business. Your passion for growth must continue in order for your business to succeed. You need to keep an entrepreneurial perspective to push your business forward. 

You need to become the business owner; you need to complete the transition from the everyday tasks to the long-term strategy. You need to establish the policies and procedures to have your managers manage, and your technicians build. 

What does this phase look like? Well, you might have a picture of you kicking your feet up behind the desk, reviling in your success. This might be true for you. What it really is freedom; to choose how you use your time. 

Retirement 

The final stage of life which Gerber failed to acknowledge is retirement. This the stage that most people don’t want to talk about. In this stage, you embrace that your business might no last forever, and you choose what to do with it. 

  • Should I pass the business on to my children or a worth employee?
  • Should I sell the business? 
  • Should I take the business public?

This is your exit strategy; every great business has an exit strategy or more than one. It is essential to have this conversation with yourself and your team and make these decisions before you a forced to.

As you can see, the life cycle of a business is complicated. But knowing where you are is the first step to getting the outcome you want. I hope that this blog has given you some language to thinking about where your business is at.

If you’re having trouble putting together your business life cycles and figuring out which of the critical roles you fit into, feel free to email me, and I will be happy to chat with you.

If this was helpful to you please leave a comment below or share it with someone you feel will benefit.

Do You Have Enough PD in your life?

Do You Have Enough PD in your life?

Do you want to make more money?

If I were to stop you on the street and ask you if you want to make more money? You would probably say ” Hell Ya I do !”

If I were then to ask you what is the best investment to make more money? What would you say, probably something like; real estate, stocks, crypto, etc.

If your business owner, it might be marketing, advertising, new salespeople, a new product or service.

What if I told you were wrong that, indeed, the best way to make more money is to invest in yourself. You probably be dismissive and say like ya, of course, but. But what, do you actually do it. I mean really, do you set aside the time and money to prioritize your personal development.

I bet you don’t; you will spend thousands on any of the above improvements with the promise of 2x returns. However, it is well documented from the greatest minds of our time and history, such as Oprah, Barack Obama, Warran Buffet, Bill Gates, Lori Greiner, Da Vinci, Aristotle, and more. That the only way to get 10x ROI is investing in ourselves.

“Income seldom exceeds personal development.” Jim Rohn

With all of these great people, you would think it would be an easy argument for making personal development a priority.

Then why is it so difficult for us to make development a priority? The main culprit is the short-term mindset. It is the fear that if I don’t make another sale today, I am going to go hungry. For some, this may be true, but have you ever acknowledged that it was your short-term outlook that got you there in the first place.

“Personal development is a major time-saver. The better you become, the less time it takes you to achieve your goals.” ―Brian Tracy

I want to help; here are my top tips to start thinking long-term and to start making personal development a part of your life, business, and career.

Add Yourself to the Priority List

Start by setting aside time. You’re probably saying, how am I supposed to set aside anytime when I already feel like I don’t have enough time. What is the top priority in your life?  I bet it is your family, your dog, a significant other, a child, clients.

Do you make time for them? For most people, the answer is an overwhelming yes. Then why are you not on that list? One of my favorite things is when you listen to the safety brief on an airplane, and they say put your oxygen mask on first before assisting others. They say this because the most effective way to help someone is when you’re as prepared as possible.

A quick tip: on a sheet of paper, write down the names of your top priorities. Then at the top of this list, add your name. Then keep that list in a place you can see it every day and ask yourself, “How am I making time for my top priority today?

Share what you want to accomplish.

Now that you understand your importance let’s talk about creating time. Most people will tell it is as simple as going on to your calendar and blocking off an hour or two. They’re right; however, they’re also wrong. They leave out the number one thing, which is communication.

Stop rolling your eyes because I used the buzzword communication. The number one reason people fail is that they fail to articulate the emotional importance of dedicating time. To their most important stakeholders (The other top priorities).

A quick tip: Before you embark on this mission of getting control of your time. Share your mission with the people who be impacted. Tell your significant other, colleague, boss, kids, parents, friends, and clients that you will not be available except for true emergencies. You simply explain that you are taking the time to become the best spouse, parent, manager, employee, problem solver that you can be. If they don’t believe you then show them.

Set a Strategy 

Great you have set yourself as the priority; you set aside time and communicated what you wish to accomplish to those important to you. Now it is time to make a plan. Take your first few session to identify the area of your life that you want to focus on. Do not try to work in all the areas of your life at the same time.

Since I work with business owners, my suggestion will be geared toward them. The business owners I work with are looking to grow their businesses. They usually struggle with work-life balance, having control of their day, and developing trust with their employees.

To address these issues, here the top 5 areas for them to focus on at the beginning.

  1. Personal Habits, such as time management, take the time to identify how you spend every day and how you want to spend your time. Then chose one area to improve and do it.
  2. Educate Yourself; workout your mental muscles, read a book, newsletter, etc. or even better write about your industry.
  3. Exercise; will lower stress and provide you a place to develop great ideas.
  4. Visioning; spend time thinking about where you want to see your business in 5, 10, 15 years and identify what you need to change personally to get there. Also, you think about changes in your industry.
  5. Reaffirming you’re why, take the time to remember why you started your business in the first place and celebrate the achievements you have had, and think about how to thank those that got you to where you are.

Don’t go at this alone.

You have begun to implement your strategy, and your feeling good. The first three days felt great. You read a chapter of a remarkable book, exercised for the first time in months, and even wrote a thank you letter to a loyal staff member. Then day 4 or 5 go by and things start to feel hard; you struggle with staying committed. You’re enjoying the changes you have made but you struggling to put out all the fires from your day.

Don’t fret; this is where my last suggestion comes into play. Get an accountability partner or coach. This is someone who can help you navigate these new challenges and keep you committed to the change you want to make.

Remember, it is not about the short term. It is about the long-term effects. It is a marathon; it is a hell of a lot easier to train when you what someone in your corner.

Well, there you have it, the quickest way to your 10x returns is through a long path of personal development. Remember, the first step in controlling your business is managing yourself. If you enjoyed this blog, please share it with a business owner or friend who can benefit from it. Thanks for reading.

P.S. Want help growing your business visit www.ideasactionsuccess.com or connect with me on Linkedin; I am always happy to chat.

Are You Aiding & Abetting E-Myths?

We will embark upon a journey through the world of e-myths and debunk them to help you avoid falling into the e-myth trap.

First, let’s take a minute to talk about what an e-myth is. An entrepreneurial myth, or e-myth, is an assumption that anyone can succeed at business with: 

  • Passion 
  • Startup funds 
  • Projected a targeted profit

This sounds great, but it just not realistic. The truth is 80% of businesses will fail in the first year. Think of starting a business as a marathon. Sure, everyone starts out of the gate at a record pace, but people start slowing after a few miles, and some drop out entirely. Building a successful business takes stamina and agility.

The reality is that there are many different facets to a successful business, and none of them can be ignored if you plan to find success.

Let’s take a minute to talk about an entrepreneurial seizure. This defines the roller coaster of emotions that comes with starting, nurturing, and the business’s potential failure. 

The emotions that occur, in order, are:

  • Exhilaration
  • Exhaustion
  • Despair 
  • Sense of self-loss 
  • Regret 
  • Fear

This is usually caused by the e-myths and assumptions we talked about. You can get your hopes so high on the instant success that even the smallest lag and you are sent into an emotional tailspin. This is also brought on by the stark realization that you can’t do it all and will need help in the areas where you don’t have the knowledge. Now, faced with limited choices, you may feel like you need to back out and hide, but don’t do this. 

Instead, use it as your wake-up call. You can’t go on doing it alone; the fear will cause you to destroy everything good about your business. Instead, get help. Here are my top tips for conquering your E-myth.

  • Be vulnerable with your staff & customers. Explain your challenges and how you feel about them. People want to help.
  • Invest in your personal development, read, take courses, etc.
  • My not-so-biased opinion, but get a coach. The advantage of a coach is they create a pathway to your success by telling you what to do and what not to do. They make an outlet for your vulnerability.

Get the Business Coaching you need to avoid feeling overwhelmed and defeated. Let’s get you on the path to Freedom, where your business work for you and you don’t work for your business.

Make It Pop!

There are five major components to good advertising copy: (The order of these is essential to success)

  • Command Attention
  • Showcase Benefits of Products/Services
  • Prove the Benefits
  • Persuade People to Embrace the Benefits
  • Call to Action


Advertising is sales in print. So, you need to think about your products/services’ unique benefits and compellingly showcase that. You need to emphasize results, not features.

Let’s take a minute to talk about each of these components:

  1. Command Attention: This is accomplished with the headline. You need an attention-getter that makes people want to know more about your products/services. The best headlines give a vivid portrayal of the benefits or show how a problem can be avoided with your products/services. The headline is the advertisement for the advertisement.
  2. Showcase Benefits: You have to showcase the benefits of your products and services and, more importantly, show how they will solve or prevent a problem. They need to know what’s in it for them. Include useful, factual description of benefits to deliver precisely what and how they will help the customer. 
  3. Offer Proof: This is where you prove what the advertisement is offering. You need to establish you have a method to deliver. Consider the information that establishes credibility and past performance.
  4. Persuade: You need to add compelling reasons for your potential customers to purchase your products/services. Use a hard sell approach and create scarcity. This will compel your potential customers to feel like they have to act now, which leads to the last component.
  5. Call to Action: You need to compel your potential customers to DO something. They need to check out your site, sign up for your newsletter, purchase your products, contact you about services…something.  Offer a freebie-a booklet, sample, product, bonus, demo, consult, limited-time price…the list goes on. There are many ways to get potential customers excited about ordering and help them feel like they are getting a fantastic deal.

Good advertisements include all of these components and are not complete without any of them. You can sit down and think through any one of these components, then figure out how to best place them together for the most effectiveness. We can help you with this too. Try our Marketing Evaluator to make sure your copy POPs!

How Well Do You Know Your Vendors? 

How Well Do You Know Your Vendors? 

One Method to Never get burned again.

It’s imperative to build relationships with your vendors and those around you who can bring in new customers/clients and increase awareness of your company branding. That relationship cannot just be transactional. It needs to be built on trust and have value going both directions.

The people you work directly with on your products and services are the ones with the most to gain when you find success. By taking the time to get to know them, you’ll find a whole host of opportunities you didn’t realize were there.

Building relationships with vendors can be challenging.  You never know if you’re going to get burned. Creating a plan based on value to them is essential for building that trust. 

Look for great ways to offer your vendors rewards for helping grow your business, and everyone wins. One way you can do this by offering performance-based incentives that are much larger than their standard charges.

Here’s the step-by-step process to putting together a partnership with a vendor:

  1. Approach all the vendors you work with and offer an incentive-based on performance. 
  2. Put the generous incentive plan together from their perspective, even take suggestions.
  3. Develop a transparent, concise, and easy to track incentive plan; this will increase competition between vendors and, therefore, higher performance levels.
  4. Encourage subsequent sales instead of focusing only on the initial sale. By doing this, you can give away more of the profit from the initial sale to your vendors and make higher profits off the back end products. Encourage:
    • Future sales
    • Upsell better and more profitable products/services
    • Cross-sell to additional products
  5. Create an incentive plan that’s irresistible to your vendors by offering generous, exclusive compensation.

Think of all the vendors you work with and the creative ways you can put together an incentive plan that entices them to be part of your business. Use their talents, capabilities, and connections, and you’ll both be winners.

Putting together an incentive plan doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Use our GUIDED TOUR to develop some great ideas and put your incentive plan together for maximum results.

Kick Start Your Marketing

Today I’d like to teach you about the three most important start up marketing tools you need to get and keep new customers.

  1. In person: It’s essential you meet with customers/clients in person whenever possible. This shows you respect them and take the time to work with your clients to give personal attention to each of them.
  2. Follow up letter: Always take a moment to send a follow up letter about what you talked about, new agreements or partnerships made and to thank them for taking the time to meet with you. Likewise, you should always send thank you letters or small gifts to partners you find success with.
  3. Phone call: Use a telephone call to follow up with them to talk again about the matters you talked about in your meeting and offer any assistance you can to help their business run smoothly and more successfully.

None of these will work if you don’t have a quality product/service to back you up!

Here are the key steps for putting together your start-up marketing tools:

  1. Research potential customers, buyers, competitors and their preferred methods of distribution.
  2. Talk to potential customers. Take a hard look at your product from a customer’s perspective and see what it needs to be successful.
  3. Follow up with your 3-step process from above.
  4. Develop systems for contact follow through, quality control standards and customer service.
  5. Develop post-sale follow up system to keep lines of communication open is customers and build on your current relationship which increases future purchases.

“Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs” Peter Drucker, management consultant

Here’s another one I love from an icon:

“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.” Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motor Company

This lesson has offered you the tools to put together a start-up marketing plan that can be used over and over again to help your customer base and business grow in a manageable way.