Testimonial and Example of What it Takes

Here is a lovely testimonial from a current client that has made major improvements to his business. Darren is a great example of how easy it can be to take a business to the next level and higher. And he isn’t an unusual case.

I’m not saying it hasn’t required ‘work’ but the work required is quite straight forward and easy when you know what to do, and you have the willingness to do things differently. This is key.

Like the old saying…”change can happen in an instant but getting ready to change can take a lifetime”.

 

 

 

 

 

Darren’s crews were never completing jobs on budget, he was always having to pick and choose which bills he paid, and he often took a pay cut along with his business partner so they could pay the staff.

What was required to turn things around?

  1. Detailed discussion with both business partners about how the business is run, the issues, and their goals.
  2. Interviews with key staff and crew team leaders to get their take on what needed improving and my personal take on their suitability for the role and company.
  3. Both partners completed my custom questionnaire I have developed over the years to help benchmark strengths and weaknesses.
  4. Plan of attack – I prepared my recommended actions and timing.
  5. Implementation – they immediately implemented changes the same day we discussed what needed doing, and this is a key reason they succeeded. They took immediate action.
  6. I supported them along the way in the implementation phase so that they had support to follow through, stay focused and had the skills to facilitate the changes. Change had to occur within the two partners as well and this is where I acted as their personal coaches to improve their leadership style.

It has only taken three months to completely turn the business around and get all crews bringing jobs in under budget, the office staff are efficient and happy, and there is over $100K in the bank already, gst and super and wages are all being paid.

 

LOOKING FOR TIPS ON GETTING TEAMS TO HELP INNOVATE AND IMPROVE YOUR BUSINESS?

Here are two of my strategies I use to help teams innovate to turn the business around or take it to the next level.

Staff and customers are fantastic sources for ideas on what to improve, yet many businesses don’t tap into these gold mines well.

1. Permission to fail.

When encouraging staff to suggest and try better ways to do things (that are not life threatening or financially crippling), make sure you give them permission to fail.

“Try it, if it doesn’t work, change it or try something else.”

It’s that simple. No big deal. Encourage your team to try new ideas they have.

The culture has to be one of giving permission to try.

I see so many teams frustrated and demotivated because they can’t implement their ideas. It is common to see morale turn 180 as soon as the team feel listened to and able to suggest ideas.

2. Ask customers for suggestions.

The trick here is to appreciate they can have a fixed opinion of what you can do.

They have put you in a ‘box’. Therefore you need to encourage them to think outside the ‘box’.

I will literally say something like, “if anything was possible, what features would you really love to see?”

Encourage them to forget what they believe you can offer, and to talk about what they would really love to have. Sure, some ideas will not be practical, realistic or feasible but in my experience, there is always at least one good idea that helps improve the business.

If they seem a bit stuck for ideas, ask them if there is anything your competitor does really well that they like.

Is Your Website Delivering Certainty?

Remember your customers #1 core need is certainty.
Is your website delivering certainty????

Your customers are looking for certainty that:
– you can deliver what they need (make sure you have enough description of benefits and not just technical specs)
– you can deliver on time
– you provide good value for money
– you are safe to purchase from
– you will provide support if something goes wrong
– you are experienced and have relevant qualifications or insurances
– you are who you say you are – real photos instead of generic photos from the internet
– you are a trusted supplier
– you are used by many others or by well known brands or businesses

Therefore spend 5 mins looking at your website and ask yourself, or your colleagues, “does the wording and imagery deliver sufficient certainty?”

Is there enough certainty on that home page?

Testimonials and star ratings are one of the best delivers of certainty and that is why they work so well and are so important. There is nothing like social proof. Do you have enough testimonials or star ratings or awards on your homepage?

Get creative – brainstorm with your team how you might deliver more certainly via your website.

One small change can make all the difference.

BTW – it doesn’t just apply to your website either. Use this thinking when assessing or writing your proposals, brochures, flyers, ads, posts etc etc etc.

MONDAY MADNESS DOING THE SAME THING AND EXPECTING A DIFF RESULT.

Is there anything, anything at all this week that you should stop doing and do differently?

Give yourself permission to let go of a strategy that deep down you feel doesn’t work. Or maybe it is time to acknowledge that it doesn’t work?

And it’s only a week – just try something diff this week in your business.

Here’s a few very simple things clients of mine changed and they experienced significant improvements/results:

– Put the approval checklist for projects on a big white board instead of a spreadsheet on the computer. The problem with computers is the info is out of sight, out of mind. No one could quickly see where approvals were at for projects so there were delays and this meant cashflow delayed. Now its on the white board, no one can escape it and projects are getting approved 40-80% faster = more revenue/month.

– Stop preparing and sending quotes for orders under $500. Just send a pricelist. It was taking time preparing quotes and for anything under $500, there just isn’t enough margin. This has freed up time to spend on the larger quotes and win more of those.

– Followup emails to enquiries that have come in over night were not getting done the same day. The culprit was continuous interruptions. The change in strategy was to ban anyone talking to the admin person between 830-9am. Now she has no problem getting replies out first thing which achieves their customer service goal. It wasn’t a hard change or complicated change but the results are significant. Note: recent research found that it takes 23 mins to get back on task after an interruption. Hence the reason they are so destructive!

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The key point here is that small changes can make HUGE improvements to your business.

Don’t delay on doing something different because you feel it has to be ‘large’ to make a difference. If you analyse the difference between good and great companies, it is the small things that they do differently that sets them apart.

3 Keys to Effective Meetings to Help Turn Your Business Around

I’ve facilitated over 15 meetings with clients in the past couple weeks, and hundreds more with all the businesses I’ve worked with over the years and there is a trend.

Businesses that are NOT achieving their profit targets or have productivity issues, are not having meetings.

And I mean ‘effective meetings’.


When I ask why a business isn’t having meetings, the two common reasons are: they take too long and they don’t work.


If you have this belief and are looking to turn your business around, here are my tips for effective meetings:


> Set an agenda/checklist of topics. You may or may not need this and it can be the same checklist every month so you don’t have to rewrite it. But it can help add certainty to the team. No one is wondering if their question/issue is going to get raised etc. And can keep you on track and prevent you missing important bits. If you, as the boss, don’t discuss it, then the team will assume it isn’t important, and you can’t blame them for not taking it seriously either. Note my points below to add weight to what you think is important.


> Focus on outcomes and what needs to be done. It is quite natural for everyone to want to explain the background or talk around the subject, and about the people involved. It’s human nature. However in order to keep your meetings short and sharp and prevent people from blaming meetings for taking too long, you need to encourage the habit of allowing just a couple sentences on the issue, decide if it needs fixing and then just go straight to the outcome you want and what needs to be done to get it. Short a sharp. Issue is raised, “great, what do we need to do about it? Who’s going to do it? When do we need it done by?” Bang, done. Next topic.

> Make sure you write down and clarify:

  • What needs to be done – outcome needed, what it looks like, how you will know it’s done
  • Who’s going to do it – check the person is comfortable doing it, knows how to do it or needs some support/help/equipment/training
  • When does it need to be done by?
  • Give permission to get it wrong. New procedures may not work and that is ok. You don’t want people fearing taking action to improve things.

The above prevent staff losing faith in meetings because they ‘don’t work’.

Communication breakdown is a major reason businesses fail. Effective meetings are essential.

Contact me if you need help identifying the kind of meetings you need or to facilitate the first few to coach everyone on how to have effective meetings.